To say I have butterflies in my stomach would be an understatement. Logan and I are going to our first prom, and neither of us have dates. As usual, I had completely forgotten about it until it was too late. I can be so absent minded sometimes.
Logan seems to be cool as a cucumber. I guess it’s just easier for him. He has lots of friends and will probably have a good time no matter what. Usually, I’m the brave one, but tonight, I’m a nervous wreck, and I don’t know why.
When the limo drops us off, I start running towards school. Logan calls out, “Hey, slow down, will you? Where’s the fire?”
“We’re late, and I don’t want to get stuck sitting with a bunch of strangers.”
“Bro, chill. I asked one of my buddies to save us seats just in case.”
“Oh, OK. Good. Thanks, man.” I slow down and let Logan catch up, and we walk towards the entrance together. As we walk up the steps, I have a feeling I’m being watched, but I shrug it off. Dude, stop being so paranoid.
We sit with Logan’s friends at prom. Only a couple of them brought dates. Needless to say, there’s a lot of competition when it comes to finding dance partners. Logan confesses to me that he has a crush on a girl and finally gets the nerve to ask her to dance. She rebuffs him. He’s pretty grumpy for a while after returning to the table, but he eventually shakes it off.
About halfway through the dance, a girl approaches me. “Hi, Lucas. I was wondering if, maybe, you might want to dance with me.”
“Um, sure. OK.” She takes my hand and leads me to the dance floor, just as the band begins to play a slow song. With my hands on her hips and hers clasped around my neck, we begin to sway to the music. “You look really familiar, but I don’t think we’ve officially met, have we?”
She giggles softly and says, “No, I guess not. I’m Abrianna King.”
“Ohhhh. My brother Kevin is dating Abrielle King. Are you her sister?”
“You look a lot like her.”
“Thanks, I think.”
I smirk. “That was a compliment. Abrielle is a very pretty girl. Kevin’s crazy about her.”
We’re quiet through the rest of the song, and when it ends, I say, “Thanks,” to Abrielle. She responds by brushing a kiss over my lips. I’m shocked and walk away in a daze.
As I’m walking back to my seat, I hear some guys harassing someone and go to see who it is. I don’t recognize the guy and figure he must be a new kid at school. Some of Logan’s friends are among those giving him a hard time, calling him names and telling him to, “Fly away, fairy-boy.” He has a kind face and his gossamer wings are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen as they sparkle and flutter behind his back.
“Hey, leave him alone!”
The guys turn around and one of Logan’s friends says, “This newbie a friend of yours, Lucas?”
“What if he is?”
“Then I guess it’s his lucky day. Come on guys.”
After the guys leave, the newbie says, “Thanks … Lucas, is it?”
I shrug, “Yeah, I’m Lucas Thomas, and you’re welcome. Those guys can be real jerks sometimes. My brother Logan is friends with a couple of them. What’s your name?”
“Albert Guzman-Fae. My family just moved to town a week ago. I didn’t want to come to prom, but my mom thought it would be a good way to meet some of my classmates and make friends. It was all downhill till you came along.”
“Well, now you can relax and enjoy the rest of the dance. Why don’t you come sit with us?”
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea considering what just happened with those guys. But you’re welcome to join me at my table … I mean, if you want.”
“Sure,” I shrug. “Why not?” I spend the rest of the prom engrossed in conversation with Albert. When the dance ends, Albert and I head outside. I had finally really connected with someone and didn’t want the evening to end.
Logan comes out and sees me talking to Albert. I don’t know why he looks so grumpy. He was named prom king, for goodness sakes. I can tell Albert feels awkward around Logan, probably because of the way his friends harassed him earlier. His eyes lost the spark they’d had while we were talking, and he says, “I should get going. My mom’s probably waiting up.”
“Oh … yeah, sure. I guess I’ll see you around school then.”
After Albert starts walking away, Logan says, “Bro, you ready to go? It’s late, and I’m tired.”
I was about to respond when Abrianna starts walking towards me. I want to leave but don’t want to be rude. “You go ahead. I’ll be along in a minute.”
“Abrianna … hey.”
“I really enjoyed dancing with you. I was kinda hoping we’d dance again, but I didn’t want to interrupt.”
Dodged that bullet.
“Who was that guy you were talking to? I don’t remember seeing him at school.”
“His name’s Albert, and he just moved to town recently.”
“Oh, that was nice of you, making the new guy feel welcome.”
“You’re sweet, Lucas … so sweet,” she says as she steps right up to me, mere inches from my face, her gaze drifting from my eyes down to my lips. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, once again, as Abrianna pressed her lips to mine. I kissed her back, briefly, but when her tongue sought entry, I grasped Abrianna by the shoulders and pulled away gently, ending the kiss. This just feels wrong. I know a dozen guys who’d love to be in my position right now, but I just can’t do it.
With a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes, Abrianna replies, “Goodnight, Lucas. See you in class.”
I spend most of the next week trying to stay clear of Abrianna at school because I feel so awkward around her. I know she likes me, and she’s a nice girl. I like her as a friend, but there’s no chemistry between us … at least not on my side. So, how do I let her know, “I’m just not that into you,” without coming off as a jerk?
When I finish my homework, I enter an online chat room that a lot of students frequent. I quickly scan the list of who’s online and, of course, Abrianna is online.
After logging off hastily, I gently bang my head against my keyboard in frustration. She’s everywhere. I give up.
Truth be told, I had hoped to find Albert in the chat room instead of Abrianna. Whereas I felt awkward and tense the whole time I was with Abrianna, with Albert I was able to be myself, and I thoroughly enjoyed his company.
Logan just went to bed, and I’m about to hit the sack myself. Before I do, I fire off a text to Albert.
Cool. Something to look forward to tomorrow. I’d better get some shut-eye.
The next day at school seemed to drag on forever. When classes were over, Albert joined me on the bus ride home. After we did our homework and had dinner, we spent the rest of the evening hanging out in the backyard. Mom had come out for a quick swim after dinner. On her way back in the house, she stopped by to say, “It was really nice meeting you, Albert. I hope we see you again soon. You boys have fun and stay out of trouble,” she said with a chuckle. “Lucas, don’t be out too late. You have school in the morning. Goodnight, boys.”
“I won’t, Mom. G’night.”
“Goodnight, Ms. Thomas. Thanks for having me.”
Finally, Mom went in the house and we had the backyard to ourselves again.
“You, too, Lucas. Thanks for inviting me. I really like hanging out with you. You’re not like the other boys at school.”
“You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met, Albert.”
“You can call me Al,” he said as his eyes bore into mine unflinchingly.
“Al … I um ….”
“Ah, hell…” I grabbed Al and planted a firm kiss on his lips. I felt him melting in my arms for a moment, but then he stiffened up and pulled away. Oh, God help me. Please tell me I didn’t just kiss a straight guy. I could’ve sworn he was into me.
“Lucas, what the hell?!?”
My face must’ve turned beet red. “Sorry. I could’ve sworn by the way you were looking at me that you wanted me to kiss you.”
“I did. I do. It’s just, what about Abrianna?”
“Abrianna? What does she have to do with anything?”
“Rumor has it she’s your girlfriend or something.”
“What?! No way. Look, let me set the record straight. Abrianna came on to me at the prom before I met you. She asked me to dance and I said OK. When the song was over, she kissed me … just a peck on the lips. I felt nothing. The best part of prom was spending time with you.” Despite the awkwardness of the moment, my lips quirked up into a smile and I gazed into his eyes as I recalled the memory. Then I got serious again. “When prom was over, after you walked away, she kissed me again and was trying to take things further when I pulled back. It’s pretty ironic when you think about it. While she was kissing me, I was thinking about you … how I wished I was kissing you.”
“Oh. I … I didn’t know.”
“And now you do. Look, it’s getting late, and we have school in the morning. Why don’t we call it a night?”
“OK. I’m really sorry, Lucas.”
“It’s OK. I get it. And you can call me Luke if you want … Al,” I smirked.
“Luke … I like that. Goodnight, Luke.”
“G’night, Al. See you tomorrow.”
Friday after school, Al invites me to his house, so we take his bus home this time. Mom doesn’t mind because it’s not a school night. I told her Al’s mom had invited me to stay for dinner. When we pull up to Al’s house, it’s pretty clear that his family is wealthy. We enter into a grand foyer, complete with marble columns. Al asks me to wait there for a minute while he disappears into the kitchen. When he returns, he hands me a bouquet of gorgeous yellow roses.
I’m puzzled. “Al, you bought me flowers?”
“Yep,” he said sheepishly. “Whenever my dad did something to make my mom angry, he’d get back on her good side with a heartfelt apology and a bouquet of flowers.”
“So, you’re trying to buy my forgiveness?”
He smirked, “Well, I really am sorry I ruined our first kiss. I hope you’ll give me another chance.”
“I think that can be arranged … although I might have to make you suffer a little first,” I smirked.
“Sheesh. Tough crowd.” We both chuckled, the awkwardness of that night a fading memory.
Al said, “Mom insists I get my homework done right after school, so we might as well get to it.”
“Yeah, let’s get it out of the way so we can enjoy the rest of the night.”
After a few minutes, Al’s mom joins us at the dining room table with her laptop.
“Hi, Ms. Guzman-Fae. You have a beautiful home. Thanks for having me over.”
“My pleasure, Lucas. How’s the homework coming, boys?”
“I’m finished with my English homework, Mom, but still working on Math. You know how much I love Math,” Al sighed.
“Yeah, not sure how much help I’ll be with that. Logan’s the genius, not me.”
Once our homework is complete, Al and I move into the living area. The downstairs of his house has an open floor plan, so privacy is at a minimum. Al lives with his mom and little brother, who had gone to a friend’s house after school today.
Al’s mom finishes her work and says she’ll be upstairs until it’s time to start dinner. As soon as she’s out of sight, Al bounds up from the couch and extends his hand, helping me up. He pulls me into his arms for a hug, running his fingers through my hair. “God, I thought she’d never leave.”
I snicker as I squeeze him tight, “Can’t wait to get your hands on me, huh?”
He chuckled, “Something like that.”
We separate, and Al takes my hand, leading me a few steps away. “Thanks,” I smirk. “I was feeling a little trapped between the couch and the coffee table.”
“I’m gonna kiss you now. OK?”
“Yep. And I’m gonna kiss you back,” his mouth quirking into a smile.
“Yeah,” I respond as I gaze upon his supremely kissable, full lips. Wrapping my arms around Al’s waist, I pull him close and press my lips against his. Our lips part, and when Al’s tongue slips into my mouth, I meet it with equal fervor, a soft moan escaping my throat. This … this feels right.
“So, that’s what I’ve been missing all this time. Niiiice.”
“Yep. You’ll get no argument from me. Now I wish I hadn’t stopped you the first time you kissed me.”
“I’m over that. You know, they say, ‘practice makes perfect.’ I don’t know about you, but I’m all for perfection, even if it takes lots of practice. In fact, I’m willing to devote all my free time to the pursuit of perfection,” I smirk.
“Uh-oh. I hear Mom’s footsteps upstairs. She must be coming down to fix dinner. Hold that thought.”
Just as we were hoping, Al’s mom made dinner, then fixed herself a plate and went back upstairs to her room. She said she was in the middle of watching a movie.
“Al, your mom’s a great cook. This is delicious.”
“I’m glad you like it. I can cook basic stuff like grilled cheese and pancakes, but that’s about it. I’m pretty lucky that my mom likes to cook. Otherwise, I’d probably be having breakfast for dinner. You can only eat so many grilled cheese sandwiches, you know?”
“I hear you, man. I’m useless in the kitchen. I help my mom with my little sisters, though. When Molly and Megan were toddlers and they got hungry, all hell would break loose until they were fed,” I laughed.
When we finish eating, I help Al do the dishes.
“Thanks, Luke. You didn’t have to do that. You’re a guest here.”
“Yeah, and this guest wants to be invited again. I’m no fool.”
“You are definitely no fool,” Al said, embracing me gently.
“Hey, I have an idea. C’mere.”
Al leaned in and I clasped his hand, whispering in his ear, “Can I stay over?”
“That would be awesome. Do you think your mom will let you?”
“I think so. We don’t have school in the morning, so it’s worth a shot. Why don’t you go and ask your mom first. If she says OK, I’ll call my mom.”
Both moms agree to the sleepover, and we can’t believe our luck. I suppose since they think we’re just friends, it isn’t a big deal.
“Follow me,” says Al as he leads me to his bedroom. The room is huge and absolutely gorgeous, but all I really notice is the big canopy bed. My heart starts beating faster just looking at it.
This time, Al initiates the kiss, and it’s like the first time all over again … the butterflies, the excitement, the anticipation of more to come.
Al takes off his jacket and unbuttons his vest, saying, “Let’s get a little more comfortable, hmm?”
I watch him, mesmerized. “How do you do that?”
“Take off your jacket without disturbing your wings. They look so delicate.”
“They’re magic, Luke. And they may look delicate, but I assure you they’re quite strong. How else would I be able to fly?”
I look at Al with wide eyes. “You can fly?”
“Of course I can. I am fae. Just a moment, and I’ll show you. Here,” Al says as he starts unbuttoning my shirt, “let me help. I want to feel your skin against mine.” When the final button is undone, Al runs his hands along my shoulders and down my arms, taking my shirt with him. He folds our clothes neatly and puts them on the dresser across the room.
“Are you ready, Luke?”
“For what?” I say as I look at him. I stand there dumbfounded as Al flies across the room and into my arms, his wings beating gracefully. He is weightless as he hugs me, his wings keeping him suspended in midair.
“That is so cool.”
Al lowers himself to the floor, rubbing his hands along my lower back as I take his head in my hands and kiss him soundly. “You really are amazing.”
“Thanks, Luke. Want to see what it feels like to fly?”
“That would be awesome, but how?”
“Stay just as you are and I’ll lift us both. Oh, but you should probably bend your knees so you don’t knock over my lamp. We don’t want my mom coming downstairs.”
Suddenly I can feel myself hovering several feet off the floor. “Holy cow. This is unbelievable.”
“You can put me down now, babe.”
Al smiled. “Babe, huh? I like it when you call me that. How did I get so lucky?”
Taking his face in my hands, I reply, “I’m the lucky one, babe.” Then I kiss him with all the passion I can muster, running my fingers through his soft curls. It turns into a full-on makeout session, and when we finally come up for air, we’re both panting.
As we look at each other, we both know that if we don’t stop now, things are going to go further than we planned, and I want our first time together to be special. “So, it’s getting pretty late. We should probably get some sleep.”
“You’re probably right,” Al says, looking both disappointed and relieved at the same time, which is exactly how I feel.
“Do you have a pair of pajama bottoms I can borrow? It’s probably not a good idea for me to sleep in just my boxers, given how I feel about you.”
“Something tells me I’ll have enough trouble sleeping with you in my bed. So, yep, PJ’s, it is.”
Al grabs a couple pairs of pajama bottoms and gives me one, telling me I can change in the bedroom and he’ll use the bathroom.
Al comes back into the bedroom after we’ve both changed. I smirk. “I don’t know how much that helped. You look hot as hell in your PJ’s. C’mere and give me a goodnight kiss.”
For the final time that night, we embrace each other and kiss passionately. I hold Al flush against my body and run my hands up and down his back, feeling his soft skin as his wings flutter gently over my hands.
“Which side of the bed do you sleep on?” I asked.
“This one,” replied Al.
“All right then. Get to bed, babe.”
It’s a surreal feeling, watching Al get into bed, knowing I’m going to be sleeping with him. I try to lighten the mood with my usual snarkiness. “No hogging the covers, babe.”
“Goodnight, Luke,” Al says with a chuckle.
It takes me a long time to fall asleep, but I enjoy snuggling with Al until I do. We try spooning, with Al behind me and his arm wrapped around me, lazily rubbing my chest. It doesn’t take long for that position to become problematic. We’re both still way too turned on to have that much contact. I roll over onto my back, and Al lays his head on my chest, his hand on my stomach. I wrap my arm around him and hold his hand, and we eventually drift into a peaceful slumber.
When morning comes, we wake up, smiling at each other and snuggling under the covers. I don’t want to get up, but I know I have to get home. “Babe, I’ve got to get going. Mom’s gonna need help with the triplets.”
“I wish you could stay, Luke, but I understand.”
“I really, really want to stay, believe me. Do I get a goodbye kiss at least?”
“How about a ‘see you soon’ kiss instead?”
“Works for me. Now get those lips over here and kiss me already. I need a little something for the road.”
Al plants a soft kiss on my lips and says, “So impatient,” as he smiles at me.
“When it comes to kissing you, you bet I am.”
“I’ll give you some privacy so you can get dressed. Your clothes are on the dresser.”
“Thanks. I’ll just be a minute.” In no time at all, I’m dressed and walking out of Al’s bedroom.
I fire off a quick text to my mom, letting her know I’m on my way home to help with the triplets. Then I call for a taxi and head home. Last night was filled with firsts, and I’m looking forward to continuing my journey of self-discovery with Al.
Author’s Note: “He’s Just Not That Into You” (Copyright 2009, New Line Cinema). Hyperlink is to movie trailer on YouTube.