He was waiting for me on the platform, like always. I'd already got so damn used to being welcomed by him every day... as soon as my station was about to come in sight, I would press my cheek against the train window, trying to spot him on the platform. It wasn't much of a feat really; I just had to look out for those pink and yellow dots of his backpack.
Also, I had made it a habit to find a seat in the same compartment every day, so we wouldn't waste any time finding each other. I wanted to tell myself it was not out of sentiment that this compartment happened to be the one with the number three on it... the one where it all began. But who was I kidding? Anyway, it worked just fine. As the train stopped, I was the first at the exit, with my hand hovering above the door opener. And right there he stood, and we smiled at each other through the glass while I waited for the hiss of the hydraulic system to announce the doors' unlocking.
My feet had barely touched the ground when he crushed into me and his solid arms closed around me. He didn't say a thing, he just held me tightly. With my own arms around his waist, I hugged him back for all what's worth. For now this was our way to exchange 'thank you's' and 'you're welcome's' for what had happened earlier this day.
We would talk about it later.
My chin rested on his shoulder, and when I opened my eyes I caught the sight of three teenage girls who were shamelessly ogling Edward, as if I didn't exist. And to them, I probably didn't. We were just two people hugging at a train station; we could be relatives, for that matter. One of the teens, a chubby Miley Cyrus wannabe, caught my glance and smiled at me. We probably looked like brother and sister to them. Or worse: maybe like -
Not taking my eyes off of the group, I placed a kiss behind Kiddo's ear and then sucked his lobe into my mouth. Chubby Miley's eyes widened as she elbowed her friends.
I had their attention now. Good.
Watch and whine, bitches…
I shoved one hand into his hair and slid the other one down his spine until it rested on his hip, my thumb hooked under the hem of his back pocket.
…because I'm so not…
Kiddo turned his head towards me and smiled, obviously as puzzled by my sudden PDA as he was delighted. I threw those girls one last glance.
…his fucking Mom!
Then I crashed my mouth on his, immediately teasing him with my tongue. He didn't hesitate to part his lips and deepen the kiss. I peeked at our audience from under my lashes; all three were gawking. They definitely got the message.
With that, my own eyes fell shut while the world's teenage girl population fell into oblivion. After all, I was kissing Kiddo...
I woke up to the sound of Kiddo humming some sweet melody. Well, at least it felt like I was waking up. Of course, in the back of my obviously still sleeping mind I knew I had to be dreaming, because I heard a guitar too. But the voice was definitely Kiddo's. It reminded me of the day when he had walked me home for the first time, quietly humming all the way to my house.
What a strange thing... to dream that I am lying in bed, sleeping and dreaming. A dream within a dream. And a very pleasant one. Lulled by the warmth of my bed and the enchanting, wordless song I couldn't help but let go a contented sigh. The playing and humming stopped, and I could feel the mattress shake as my dream lover scooted over to me. I could even smell him. And damn, did it feel real when he pressed his lips against my spine. I couldn't decide whether I wished for him to continue kissing my back, or for the sweet music to return.
And then a beautiful velvet voice next to my ear said: "Wake up, sleepy head..."
No, no, no! Not yet!
The beautiful velvet voice snickered as my dream-self tried to snuggle down deeper into the pillows. And then the kissing started all over again, warm breath tickling the skin between my shoulder blades.
Ok... I guess, that means no more singing.
On the other hand, if this was a dream then what's the problem with kissing and singing at the same time? "Can I have the music back, please?" I managed to mumble, "I like the melody..."
"There are words to it, too. I'll sing it for you if you open your eyes for me."
"Mmmmh, don't wanna. Keep on kissin' then; 'tis fine..."
"Yes ma'am," beautiful voice chuckled, "but you know if we go on like this, I will probably poke a hole into your guitar when I put it on my lap."
I own a guitar?
A warm body was sliding up my back, soft lips licking the sensitive spot behind my ear.
And what... poke a hole into... how?
I felt something hard pressing between my butt cheeks, and within seconds I was up for some poking indeed, sleeping or not. I jerked my hips to rub against Kiddo's obvious arousal and moaned a quiet yes.
"Fuck, Annie, you're killing me here!" he gasped into my ear, "We can't... you need to get up; Alice will be here in a minute, and-"
"We'll have to be quick then, right?"
"Oh God..." Kiddo groaned.
I kept my eyes closed, but I was positively awake now. The moment I felt the tip of his erection at my entrance, the dream haze was lifted off of me like a veil, leaving me raw and needy. "Come on, I want you."
Next to my ear, Kiddo was panting. "You're not ready, Annie. I need to-"
"No, you don't," I cut him short. "Just fuck me. Now. And cum for me, ok?"
I licked my fingers and reached down under me to coat myself. He didn't waste any more time and entered me, slowly but forcefully pressing past my resisting flesh before he slid in all the way. He stilled above me, giving us both time to adjust to the sensation. I couldn't help but moan loudly. The feeling of him filling me like that was incredible.
Sometimes, foreplay was highly overrated.
"Jesus, Annie, you're tight. I don't know if... god, this is not going to be gentle."
"I'm not asking for gentle, baby."
"Fuck..." he almost growled. One of his hands slid down my thigh to the hollow of my knee. "Draw your leg up under yourself, please... yes, like that."
I obeyed all too willingly, enjoying the way the new angle made my belly tingle. And then he started to move, and I opened my eyes. First thing I saw was a weird bundle of wire right in front my face, which I found pretty surreal, and I almost laughed. But then there was Kiddo's hand in the nape of my neck... pressing down roughly... to the point where I was almost immobilized, and I could only gasp. His other hand gripped my hip to hold me in place while he thrust into me hard. It was feral, it was quick, and it was divine. I was close in a heartbeat.
The way he took me and bent me to his liking without asking – that very moment, everything about him screamed 'Mine!'. Yet ironically, right before I felt him pulsate inside of me, he moaned, "I'm yours, Annie, yours forever!" He almost cried out the last word.
"That you are..." I sighed into the blissful rapture of my own release, reveling in the heated throbbing from where our bodies were joined.
When he collapsed on top of me with his full weight, shaking and panting, I was provided with a completely unnecessary last proof that this wasn't a dream any more - a nasty cramp in my left leg which was still bended underneath me.
"Shit! Off... get off of me! Holy shit...!" I screamed.
Kiddo was on his feet in a split second, an alarmed look on his face. "What is it?"
"It's my leg; a cramp... hell, what is that piece of scrap metal in my bed?" My eyes had fallen onto the mysterious wire ball again. I pointed an accusing finger at it while I was frantically rubbing my tortured calf with my other hand.
"Those are the old strings of your guitar," Kiddo chuckled. "Come here, let me help you." He kneeled down next to me on the mattress and started massaging my leg. The pain subsided quickly under his magic touch. "Better?"
"Yes, thank you. What do you mean, my guitar?"
"A wooden box, hour glass shape, long neck, covered in dust... ring any bells? Found it on top of the bedroom closet a couple of days ago."
Dumbfounded, I watched my boyfriend step into his boxers. And though he lacked a bit of his usual grace right now, hopping on one leg while trying to get the other one through the corresponding hole in the fabric, he was sporting a pretty self-complacent grin. I followed the nod of his head with my eyes, and there, in the corner of my bedroom, leaning against the wall with its back to me as if pretending to not know me, it was. Apparently, I owned a guitar.
Jesus, how long has it been since...?
Kiddo, who eventually had come to terms with his undies, grabbed it by the neck and turned it around. "There was a real beauty hiding under the dust. See?"
"Looks as good as new. What did you do?"
"Just cleaned her up and restringed her. No biggie!"
"Yeah, she's definitely a lady. Listen!" In one swift move, Kiddo swung my revived instrument around, tucked it under his arm and strummed a few chords. That was when it dawned on me...
Oh my God! "You were playing and singing earlier; it wasn't a dream!"
He blushed. "Uhm... yes. No dream. I wrote a song for you, and I wanted you to-"
"You did what?" I gasped, and Kiddo looked down on his hands, his blush turning a deeper shade of red. Could he be any more adorable?
He opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted by my door bell and a factitiously high-pitched voice calling, "Hey there, lovebirds, time to untangle your sweaty limbs and face the day! We need to get going soo-hoon..."
"Alice!" we moaned in unison. I checked the alarm clock; it was eight sharp. Why did that pain-in-the-ass Nelly always have to be dead on time? Kiddo was already pulling up his jeans.
"Go, hop into the shower, I'll answer the door," he sighed.
I shook my head. "Don't bother, I bet she-"
"Annie, cover your honey pot, ok? Letting myself in in THREE..."
"Jesus!" With an exasperated groan, Kiddo snatched my bathrobe and sent it flying over to me.
"Yep," I confirmed, "she's got a spare key, and she's not afraid to use it."
I quickly whipped on the robe; I could already hear the keys tinkle. But I knew how to buy us another few seconds. "Alice, if you come in now, you will see my honey pot, willing or not. Just a warning!"
"Eeeek! ZERO POINT FIVE..."
I closed the distance between me and my boyfriend in two strides. "Kiss me, before -"
"Hell, yes..." His mouth crashed on mine. Outside my apartment, Alice started to perform a pretty skillful beatbox mouth percussion. Kiddo's laughter ended our kiss much too soon for my liking. "Tell me again why we agreed to let her come with us?"
"I can't remember," I huffed, "but I'm starting to regret it."
The beatboxing stopped and giving a perfect Lauryn Hill imitation, Alice turned the key. "...ready or not, here I come..."
I hurried to meet her in the living room and made it just in time. With my hands against her chest, I frog-walked her back from the bedroom door while she was laughing and craning her neck.
"Whoa, Annie, come on... is Edward still in his undies? Eddie! Eddie? Alice is here!" I punched her in the stomach, and she laughed even harder. "What? Don't be selfish, just one little glimpse, ok? What were you two just doing in there, huh?"
"Nothing! It's none of your business anyway, but if you wanna know: Edward wrote me a song!"
That shut her up for exactly two seconds. Then a wicked grin spread over her face.
"Yeah, I can smell his song all over you, darling. Let me guess the key... it's in G, right? G-spot major?" Laughing, she ducked away under my hand as I lashed out at her. "Girl, you and your shockingly attractive boyfriend better get ready. T minus 20 until we have to leave. I'm ready to face a bunch of sweaty jocks..."
A quick shower, an even quicker cereal breakfast and a few more teasing remarks by Alice later, the three of us were on the train, heading to Kiddo's usual Friday hangout, the mysterious Wing Chun Kuen School of Martial Arts. Yes, my boyfriend kept surprising me; who knew he was a teacher? A fucking Kung Fu instructor, to be precise. I know, right?
Ok, here's the story. It all started with six weeks of anger management training, ordered by the court as part of his probation. The judge considered the combination of a hard, physical workout and the strictly traditional master-student structures in an old fashioned Chinese school an appropriate means to channel the young delinquent's temper. Six weeks turned into six months, and Kiddo did extraordinary well. He passed a couple of tests in quick succession, and soon was entrusted with supervising the lower grade students.
Never did he revolt against the strict code of conduct. Quite the contrary, it accommodated his then aversion for wordy conversations and talking in general. The only things students were supposed to say to their instructors were yes and no and thanks, accompanied by brief bows. In terms of social interaction, this was safe territory for Edward who – of course – was completely oblivious to all the subtle or not so subtle attempts of flirting among his female fosterlings.
The school owner however wasn't. Having Kiddo turned out to be a total fluke for his formerly slow business. The ratio of male and female students slowly but noticeably shifted until the guys were the minority. More and more women felt the sudden need to gain some skills in self-defense. They brought their friends and their high school daughters who then brought their own friends, and the formerly exotic and suspicious backyard Kung Fu school became the hippest place in the neighborhood. And a little more than three months ago, two new classes for combative housewives had to be established on Fridays in order to satisfy the demand, with Kiddo in charge.
That's it. He started to ride my train on Friday mornings. We met (or something like it). And the rest is history.
Except for the fact that I yet had to watch him doing his thing there. So I had taken the day off to make good for it. I mean, I once watched him do his thing with my poor neighbor Tom. But that didn't really count, because it was quite disturbing. Though not half as disturbing as the visual of him spending every given Friday getting touchy-feely with scantily clad and probably drooling middle-aged women.
God, I need to think of something else...
"Let me get this straight once again, I'm just coming to watch, ok? I will not participate."
Kiddo smiled and squeezed my hand. "I know. It's ok."
"But maybe I will?" Alice was literally bouncing with excitement. "I brought my training gear, just in case. Hey, Eddie, those Wing Chun master guys need to touch their students a lot, right? Like feeling them up, I mean, full contact and shit?"
Ungh... thanks, Alice!
"Yes, we do," Kiddo laughed, "but all the guys are wearing jock straps, so calm down."
"Uhm... that's kinda hot. And shorts?"
"No shorts, sorry. Black sweat pants. And tees, too. It's not like in a Kung Fu movie."
Alice pouted. "That's too bad. I watched one the other day, and the hero just wore a diaper of sorts and those leather strings around both his biceps. Through the entire movie! And his bare chest was glistening… ouch!" I slapped her arm to bring her out of her wet dream.
Kiddo shook his head. "It's not like that, Alice. Please behave yourself, ok? Maybe you better just watch too, for a start." He looked slightly worried now as our station came in sight.
When we grabbed our stuff and stood to get off the train, Alice gave him a quick hug and ruffled his hair.
"Nah... don't worry, Beautiful. I'd never embarrass you in front of your see-thru... guru... whatever..."
"Sifu!" Kiddo corrected nervously, "The master is called Sifu."
"Yeah, see-foo... that's what I meant. Don't pee your pants, Bruce Lee; I'll be a good girl, I promise!"
I threw Alice a warning look behind Kiddo's back. She stuck her tongue out at me and jumped onto the platform, pointedly wiggling her ass in front of me. "And you are the Sihing, right?" she rattled on, unfazed, linking arms with Edward. "That means, 'elder brother', right? Yes, your favorite Queenie has been Googling... is that Cantonese? Mandarin? Grapefruit? Haha, just kidding... it's so romantic! How do you say 'elder Sister'? Oh, and are there younger brothers too?"
I rolled my eyes. Great, this is going to be real fun!
I really don't know how I survived the three hours that followed. The place smelled of sweat and excessively perfumed antiperspirants; a suffocating mix. In the locker room, deodorant roll-ons stood in rank and file alongside pastel-colored gym bags, like dildos on display in a sex store. Smack my ass and call me Alice, if all that estrogen had gathered here solely for the benefits of self-defense skills!
Kiddo introduced us to Harry, the honorable Sifu and owner-slash-founder of the school. Much to Alice's disappointed, he was lacking as much Asian features as he was untouched by any Far Eastern charm. Disturbingly, the term 'buttcrack santa' was the first thing that came to my mind. Smaller than me by a head, with thinning hair and a considerable potbelly, he definitely was not the reason for half the female population to pilgrimage to his temple of wisdom and physical flexibility.
Yet he seemed totally convinced, that it was the special qualities of Wing Chun Kung Fu itself that held such a strong appeal for women.
According to Harry, it was a martial art designed to deal especially with physically superior opponents. Admittedly, the idea of turning one's own weakness into a weapon by 'borrowing' the attacker's strength and momentum sounded quite intriguing. I endured his lectures while Kiddo was changing and getting ready for his first class. However, when he finally returned, I had enough of Harry's 'be-soft-like-the-branch-of-a-willow-tree' talk. Damn, that dude fucking sounded like a fortune cookie on acid...
The good thing was that Alice, unstoppable in her enthusiasm, left with Harry to join one of the more advanced groups. She was eager to mingle with the 'well-toned hotties', as she called them, rather than watching the desperate housewives parade. So at least I didn't have to deal with her cheeky comments when I finally found myself sitting on one of the wooden benches in the back of the small training room, grimly eyeing up every single woman who entered.
In the end, there was a group of twenty female students, ages between 15 and 50 years, lining themselves up in silence and patiently waiting for the lesson to begin. There was no chatting or whispering nor any other noises you could usually hear from such a group of girls and women. With their backs to me, they all showed the same posture: upright, eyes straight ahead, arms held loosely at their sides. Kiddo had explained to me earlier that putting your hands on your hips or crossing your arms in front of yourself was considered disrespectful towards your master or elder Kung Fu brother. Both were such natural gestures to me that I wondered if I would even make it through a single lesson without accidentally insulting the teacher.
Kiddo stepped in front of the group, inclined his head ever so gracefully, and with a sweet smile said, "Good morning, Ladies."
The whole group bowed down like one and replied in unison, "Good morning, Sihing!"
"Siu Nim Tao," Kiddo announced, "Take your stance, please." By just lifting his heels the tiniest bit, he moved his feet into that weird inward position I had seen the very day when he had taught my unsuspecting neighbor a lesson of its own. The students did the same. And then a strange ballet of sorts began, a slow series of arm movements and turns of the upper body. Not really pretty to watch... some of the movements even looked kind of awkward. But it was so obvious that every single push and turn was purposeful and loaded with energy, that I was all but impressed.
After a while the sequence ended, everyone relaxed and returned to the posture of the beginning. Both Kiddo and the students took another small bow, and then he said, "Repeat." And it started all over again. Only this time, Kiddo was walking through the lines, stopping here and there to quietly utter critique or encouragement, receiving a respectful "Yes, Sihing" or "Thank you, Sihing". I liked that. But then the touching began...
The concept of jealousy still was an enigma to me, and I hated this new emotion and what it did to me. No one said, being the girlfriend of RPattz 2.0 would be easy, but I just couldn't help myself.
I felt a sharp pang when he gently took one woman's wrists to lift her arms a little, because apparently her dang 'Fook Sao' wasn't straight. What the hell? I cringed when he stepped close in front of another lady and let her perform a series of pushes and punches against his chest and then complimented her on her perfect "Gum Sao'. Was that really necessary? And I could have sworn that blonde teenage girl ground her ass against him when he corrected the position of her shoulders from behind.
The only thing that kept me from applying my personal 'Fuck Sao From Hell' to that bitch and the others was the fact that they all stood with their backs to me (pretty sure one look of their lash-batting cow-eyes, and I would have lost my shit), and that Kiddo again and again looked up and smiled at me lovingly, assuring me I was the one and only person in the room that really mattered.
Besides, he was doing an awesome job, and I could tell he was loved and respected around here for much more than just his good looks. And I really liked that. A lot!
I was so proud of him. And I was proud of being his girlfriend, too.
"You should demand a higher salary, that's all I'm saying," I repeated sternly. "Sorry, but your Sifu is a jerk. All that talk about the magic of Wing Chun and shit... he knows just too well that if you leave, his magic school will be royally fucked. All those women don't come for Mr. Myagi, they come for Karate Kid, ok? I saw it with my own eyes."
Kiddo didn't say anything, just kept on stirring his coffee as if he didn't hear me. We'd had this discussion already yesterday, on our way home. We'd had it at night, on my bed. And we were still having it now, at the breakfast table. Buttcrack Harry, who was conspicuously shitting his sweat pants at the prospect of possibly losing his cash cow by the end of the year, had offered him a permanent job, at a ridiculous pay. As far as I was concerned, I thought Kiddo should be offered a damn partnership with his name in bright letters on the facade. But yeah, that was probably asking too much. Anyway...I wasn't giving in, and right now I could tell Kiddo was on the brink of capitulation.
"You know I'm right. You are like Harry's fucking Kung Fu rock star. Tell him to raise your salary, or else you will quit."
"Annie," Kiddo sighed dramatically, "I don't want to quit. I like working there."
"I'm not telling you to quit, I'm telling you to tell Harry that you'll quit. Just pretend, it's called negotiation. I just don't want anyone to take advantage of you. You're worth a lot more than he's willing to pay you. It'll work – you pull the quitting card, he will offer you more money to make you stay. Easypeasy!"
Kiddo smiled and shook his head, defeated. "Ok."
"Yes, I will do it. But I have one condition."
Kiddo finally stopped atomizing the sugar in his coffee, put down the spoon and raised his head. We stared at each other across the table for a few seconds, until I threw my hands up in the air.
"Ok, what's the condition?"
As if he had all the time in the world, Kiddo didn't answer at once but raised his coffee and took a long swig, looking at me over the rim of the mug. Then he slowly put it down again, and exhaled at length. He knew damn well he was driving me nuts.
"Come on, Edward, spill it already. What condition?"
One corner of his mouth began to twitch.
Oh no, not the crooked smile... unfair!
"The song I wrote for you, it's finished."
I clutched my own chest. "Oh my God, really? Can I hear it?"
"Well, it turned out a duet, actually."
"I want you to sing it with me."
I dissolved into spontaneous giggles. "You are kidding me, right?"
No more giggles. At all!
Kiddo didn't call Harry.
I didn't agree to sing.
He wouldn't even let me read the lyrics.
I refused to kiss him on the mouth.
He didn't reveal what the hell he meant by 'in public'.
He laughed at me.
I faked total interest in a cartoon show on the kid's channel while he sat next to me, absentmindedly picking at the guitar strings.
He put the folded paper with the song lyrics into his back pocket where I could see it stick out, just to tease me. When I tried to snatch it, we ended up wrestling on my couch where he tickled the shit out of me.
I got out my Twilight DVD and watched it two and a half times in a row in three different languages, until he started to lick and nibble at my neck from behind.
"Will you sing with me?" he whispered against my skin, seductively
"Will you talk to Harry?" I whispered back, trying to appear unaffected by his caresses.
And then it all started all over again, one way or another.
Kiddo called it a truce. I called it a violation of my human rights. I was a grown woman, for crying out loud! Did I really have to put up with this nonsense?
We were at Hour Thirty-One, and neither of us was ready to surrender. At five p.m. Beatrice called, and in my outrage I immediately told her the whole story, never taking my eyes off of Kiddo who slouched on the carpet, lazily plucking the guitar again.
"That's really interesting, hun. But I don't get it, what's the big fuzz? You have sung before. You've even been in a band, isn't that right?"
"But that was twenty years ago!"
"Yeah, whatever. Still no biggie, if you ask me. Hells, the boy wrote you a song! You should get a hold of yourself and just do it. I would sing like a nightingale if someone wrote me a song. Anyway, listen... the reason why I called..."
"Oh great! Thanks for your sympathy!" I spat.
Kiddo chuckled, and I stuck my tongue out at him. Very adult, Portman!
"... is, I have a date! A date, Annie!"
"Yes, he called me! I didn't even need to use the number you gave me. He called ME!"
"Lawrence... Law... hot dude, related to Edward, kisses hands - remember? He called me!"
"Oh!" I looked up at Kiddo, and he raised a brow. I covered my cell phone with one hand and stage-whispered, "Apparently, Law has asked my boss on a date."
"Cool!" was all he said.
"You still there? Annie?"
"Sure. I'm so happy for you. Where will you two be going?"
"Well, that's why I'm calling. Is it ok if I bring him to your party?"
I almost screamed. "My...? What do you mean, my party? What Party?"
This conversation was taking an alarming turn. Had everyone gone apeshit all of a sudden? I started to feel like I was in the Twilight Zone, and not the one with the pretty vampires, when I heard a small smacking sound from across the room. My eyes darted to Kiddo who palmed his face, looking at me warily through his fingers. Oh. My. God!
"Beatrice, I'll call you back."
"Uh-oh... oops! Okay."
The line went dead. And so did the last bits of my usual sense of humor.
Someone had some explaining to do...