14. Q & A

You're my thrill
You do something to me
You send chills right through me
When I look at you
'Cause you're my thrill
How my pulse increases
I just go to pieces
Every time I look at you
I can't keep still

"You're my Thrill"
Joni Mitchel (Clare/Gorney)

Oh, those lips...

Every tender kiss he gave me felt like a first. I was channeling my inner teenage girl - heartbeat and butterflies and all - while we lay there, holding hands and kissing like school kids, making out. Except for the fact that I couldn't remember it had ever felt this good when I was a school girl. I could have kissed those lips all day long, to make the little beasts inside my tummy flutter and whirl again and again.

We were celebrating Kiddo's 'moment'. I swallowed all of my questions and concerns to let him have this moment, and at one point I eventually forgot about them... I think it was when his tongue licked my lower lip, asking for entrance. I opened my mouth for him, moaning as our tongues met, and my entire anatomy responded with another hot rush of desire.

Ready for round two? God help me... yes!

I felt Kiddo smile against my lips, and then he snickered, "I'd really like to have these on my iPod, just so you know."

"These what?" I asked, a little dazed. My brain was on standby again.

"These little noises you make," he said. "They're better than music. I'd put them on repeat and listen to them all day."

"Really?" I laughed. "You're crazy."

"Yes, I am. Crazy for you," he said, gently squeezing my hand.

I didn't know what to say. Out of nowhere, the girlfriend-question was knocking at the backdoor of my mind again. The beautiful time capsule that had surrounded us for last few minutes suddenly showed a few fine cracks. I sighed.

Kiddo tilted his head back to look at me, "What's wrong?"

Shit, he's way too perceptive.

"Um, nothing," I quibbled. "I'm just thirsty. Time to get up-"

"No, don't," he interrupted eagerly, "I'll fetch you something to drink, ok? What do you want? Oh wait, there's only Diet Coke anyway, right? I'll be right back – don't move."

He kissed the back of my hand and let go, rising from the mattress. I smirked when I saw him bashfully cup his genitals with his hands, as he walked around the bed… cute! But to my delight, I was able to take a glance at his small, lean butt, before he was out the door.

Control room - can I have a replay of that? In slow motion, please?

I sighed again. Like always when he wasn't close to me, sobriety crept in. I tried to fight it back, not willing to let it ruin our –Kiddo's - moment. But it was hard. God, how long could it possibly take to go to the fridge and back?

Come back. Please...

I sat up and looked down at myself. I still wore my bra and the stockings, and wondered what to do. Put on some panties? Or cover myself up with the blanket? Or take off my bra and stockings and then cover myself with the blanket? Or leave everything as it is? I shook my head, feeling silly...

When he returned he was carrying two Cokes and his backpack. He had also put his boxer briefs back on. I quickly pulled the blanket over my lower regions, suddenly feeling a little too exposed.

Kiddo tossed the backpack onto the bed, opened one can of Coke and handed it to me. Then he sat down and tugged at the blanket, "Why did you do that? Are you cold?"

"No, I was just..." I started absently, staring at the pink and yellow polka dots. I had the strong feeling they were somehow contaminating my neat white bedsheets. "Why did you bring… this? Do you need an injection now or something?"

He acted puzzled. "No, I just had an idea, but now that you're asking..."

Fuck! I promised Law to keep an eye on it!

"You didn't check your blood sugar after breakfast!" I yelped, "And you had cereal... and sugar!"

"Calm down, Annie, I'll do it right now, ok?" He grabbed the backpack and moved for the door.

"Where do you think you're going?" I demanded, scandalized.

He stopped and turned around. "Um... the bathroom?"

"No fucking way, Edward! You come back here and let me see what's with your numbers and shit. Come on." I beckoned him over and patted the mattress next to me.

Smirking, but with a mocked sigh he returned and muttered, "Yes, Mom."

"Very funny!" I snarled, warily watching him prepare the glucose meter. "You... you're going to stick yourself now, right? You need some blood to..."

His laughter interrupted me. "Hell, I tried to be discrete, Annie, but you wouldn't let me. Now relax! I know you don't get sick when you see blood, you had no problems with your... neighbor, when I..." he trailed off, suddenly serious again. He didn't look at me while he squeezed the finger he had just pierced with a fine lancet. A small drop of blood appeared, he tipped the sensor, and the meter began to count backwards from 15 to zero.

"Is he really just your neighbor?" I heard him ask while I watched the numbers change on the display.

"He is a friend too. Well, he used to be." I answered; then the meter stopped. "Christ, 296? Oh shit, that is high, right? What is the normal value?"

Kiddo giggled. "No need to panic, really. I just ate, so it's high. That's ok."

"Oh, sure as hell it's not ok!" I blustered, noticing irritated, that I sounded like Chief Swan already. "I should have -"

Kiddo leaned over and shut me up with a kiss. "No, you shouldn't," he murmured against my lips. "It's going to be down in a few minutes, and that's it."

I gasped and found myself at a loss for words. Kiddo opened his insulin pen and adjusted the dose.

"And I really don't want to talk about my blood sugar now, ok? It's boring, and it's not the reason I brought my backpack."

"So why did you bring it, if not for sparing me the discomfort of watching you go into a coma? Enlighten me, please!" I bitched.

Kiddo pinched some skin of his belly between his thumb and index finger and positioned his insulin pen; I winced as the fine needle sank into his flesh. He looked up and said, "I'll answer if you tell me why you covered yourself."

"I asked first!"

He pulled the needle out and sighed, "We really suck at this."


"That's the answer to your question," he said, showing his best lop-sided smile. "We both really suck at talking, we never really get anywhere. So I figured we could use some help. And everything we need is in my backpack."

I still stared at the spot on his belly; a small bruise was building around the fresh puncture. To see that nasty mark on my beautiful boy's otherwise flawless body annoyed the shit out of me. Indignantly, I pointed at the area in question, "Is that normal?"

He bent his head to see what I was talking about, and shrugged, "Oh, this... it happens from time to time. Blunt needle. I guess I should have used a new one."

"Law was right," I accused, "You are sloppy with this."

"Yeah, whatever… your turn now - why did you cover yourself? And do you want to know what kind of help I have in mind, to get us to answer each other's questions eventually?"

"Yes, I want to know," I snapped, "and I pulled the blanket over me, because I felt uncomfortable. I mean, why are you wearing your undies now, huh?"

He shrugged awkwardly, "Well, I..."

"Exactly." I said. "So what's with your idea?"

"Ok!" He suddenly beamed with enthusiasm. "Listen – I think, we need some rules. Like a game, you know? It goes like this: We both write our questions on small pieces of paper." He rummaged in his backpack and pulled out a small notepad, and a few pens. "Write as many questions as you like, about whatever you want to know. But only one question per note. Because we'll fold all the paper and put them in two envelopes-"

"You have envelopes in that thing, too?" I interrupted. "Where can I buy such an ugly, yet apparantly useful bag for myself?"

With a chuckle, he pulled his red (diary!) notebook out, ripped two empty pages out of it and began to fold perfect envelopes, like the fucking national Japanese origami champion. He was really deft with his fingers. I blushed.

You knew how deft he is with his fingers already, Portman...

"Can you do swans and frogs, too? Or maybe a dancing flamingo?" I teased. It was hard to be mopey around him for long.

He laughed out loud, "I never tried." He handed me one of the envelopes and continued, "Here we get to the fun part of it; these are the rules: we exchange the envelopes, so that you have my questions and I have yours, ok? Each of us can say 'pick a question' at any time. Then the other one takes one question out of the envelope, reads it aloud and answers it. Each of us can say 'elaborate', either if a question isn't clear enough, or if the given answer isn't satisfying. But you can only say 'elaborate' once per question. You can also 'next' a question – but it doesn't mean you won't have to answer it, it just goes back into the envelope and you pick another one. So at some point later, that question will come up again."

He looked at me intensely, apparently waiting for an answer. I shook my head, "Where does this game come from? Did you make it up by yourself?"

"No," he said, "it's one of the very few useful exercises I remember from my very useless therapy sessions. So... what do you say, are you game?"

"What kind of therapy?" I asked curiously.

He frowned. "Is that one of your questions? Then write it down and put it in the envelope."

"And if you pick it you'll have to answer it, right? Those are the rules?"

"Yes," he confirmed. "I can say 'next' once, but then I'd have to answer it later. Those are the rules."

This could be interesting...

"Ok, let's play," I agreed.

"Great!" He eagerly jumped onto the mattress. Then he sat cross-legged in front of me and handed me a notepad and a pen. On the way back, his hand swept along the blanket and pulled it down a little, as if by accident. My right hip and a bit of my butt got uncovered.

I smiled at him and deliberately shifted my leg, so that the blanket slipped off and the rim of my stockings came into his view. He brushed along the skin above the lace with the knuckle of his index finger, and mouthed, "Thank you."

"You are an eye-person," I stated.

"I told you, I like to look at you." His finger followed the lace ribbon. "And these are beautiful. I've only seen stockings like this in ads before. On you, they look extremely... good. I really like that."

Involuntarily, my gaze shifted to his boxer briefs. It was quite evident he really liked what he saw. "It's undeniable," I smirked.

Kiddo pulled the backpack onto his lap and blushed. "Can we focus now, please?"

I tugged a little at the backpack, laughing, "But I like to look at you too!"

"Jesus Christ, Annie... just write!"


I stared down on the blank paper for a long time, not knowing where to start. It was weird how the strict rules made me contemplate how to pose my first question. I wanted to know about his ex-girlfriends and about him and girls in general - but how to ask? 'Tell me everything about your sexual experiences' wouldn't even be a question. But that was what I wanted; no way I would waste my chances on simple yes or no questions. And I wanted to get him talking…

I glimpsed at Kiddo who filled one note after the other and folded them neatly. He didn't even need to think about his questions.

Dammit, Portman, kick off already!

Kiddo looked up from his writing and smiled at me. "Everything all right?"

I waved him off and bent down over on my own papers again. He snickered.

After a few more minutes - I had filled three notes with grids and helical figures, but had not written a single question - I felt Kiddo's hand on my knee. My head jerked up and I saw he had stopped writing. His makeshift envelope was filled.

"I'm done," he said. "What about you?"

I sighed and crumpled the scribbled papers. "I don't know. Maybe I'd get a better start after I've put some clothes on and get a little more caffeine in my system. We can't stay in bed the whole day anyway."

"Hmm… why not?" Kiddo's hand started to stroll along my leg, making me shiver. "I don't want you to put clothes on."

My instant physical reaction to his touch was almost annoying; it was something I never had experienced with any other man. And I had to admit that sex with him also felt like something completely new. It was addictive, though the poor boy didn't even…

"Ah!" I gasped and quickly wrote down my very first question, WHAT DO YOU FEAR WILL HAPPEN IF YOU HAVE AN ORGASM WHILE YOU'RE INSIDE OF ME? I looked down on it, very pleased with myself. This required a detailed answer, and I could even say 'elaborate' once. And suddenly I knew how to phrase the girlfriend question, too… WHAT WERE YOUR FORMER GIRLFRIENDS LIKE? That one would keep him talking – perfect!

Yeah baby - some kind of frenzy begins, and it's almost impossible to stop!

The heap of neatly folded papers next to me was growing, and the questions kept coming to my mind. I didn't look up once; I had even forgotten Kiddo was there. That is, until I heard him speak.

"I'm really looking forward to that one."

My head jerked up to see him smile at me. "What… this question? Why?" I asked, and took a sip of my...

coffee? He made me coffee! When…?

"Because you expect me to lie when I answer it," he said matter-of-factly. "Is the coffee ok? Milk and one and a half spoons of sugar, right?"

I stared at the steaming mug I had just grabbed off the nightstand, confused. "Yes, it's good. Thanks." It was perfect, actually - just the way I liked it. Damn, he was really perceptive; it was almost scary. "What makes you think I expect you to lie?"

"I've been watching you while you were writing. It's kinda fascinating. You mouthed every word you wrote," he explained, "but with the last one you didn't. You first frowned and nodded like this…" his face crumpled in illustration, "and then you snorted."

"I did?" I was busted.

"Mm-hmm." He nodded, apparently quite amused. "It was this 'yeah sure whatever' kind of snort, you know? You didn't believe a word of what I'm going to say in your imagination."

Mind-reading again?

I looked down on the piece of paper in my hand and asked, "And will you lie to me?"

"Never." His answer came in a heartbeat.

"You don't even know the question," I demurred, still staring at the words I'd written down.

"Annie, look at me please." All playfulness had suddenly left the tone of his voice. I raised my head and was stunned by the sincerity in his eyes, when he continued, "I don't need to know the question. I would never lie to you, no matter what. There might be things I'm not ready to tell you yet. But whatever I tell you, you can be sure it will be nothing but the truth, ok?" He had leaned forward and his eyes pierced into mine under furrowed brows. He was absolutely serious, as if this was a matter of life and death to him.

Your mood swings are giving me a kind of whiplash, Kiddo…

"Ok," I said, holding his gaze. "I believe you." He relaxed noticeably, but still seemed to be waiting for something. After a few seconds it dawned on me… "And I won't lie to you either, Edward."

With a long sigh all the tension left his body, and he whispered, "Ok." He bent down and placed a scanty kiss on my knee. "Thank you."

When our eyes met again, I suddenly felt the strong impulse to take him in my arms and tell him that I…

how much I…

… that I... liked him.

Or something like that. My stomach tingled and it seemed really important to say it. But things were not very convenient right now, with the tiny pieces of paper and the coffee and everything else. I was at a loss of what to do first and when I had eventually put the papers aside and deposed the mug on the nightstand, the moment had passed. Kiddo was still looking at me, and I wondered whether he had felt it too. I tore my eyes off of his face and started to fold the last note, when he laid his hand on mine to stop me.

"Give it to me," he said. "Let's pretend the game has already started and I just pulled this one."

I hesitated, suddenly feeling silly about my question. "You will probably laugh."

"I won't," he said. "Come on, it can't be that bad." He shifted his body to sit beside me, wrapping his arms around my waist. His chin came to rest on my shoulder. His embrace felt warm and oddly familiar, and I leaned my head back and closed my eyes, inhaling his scent. "Let's see," he whispered.

I opened my eyes, took a deep breath and unfolded the paper. We both looked down on the words I'd written: CAN YOU READ PEOPLES' MINDS?

Kiddo tensed up again next to me, and suddenly I could feel his heart beat wildly against my side. After a long moment of silence, he finally spoke. He didn't laugh. He didn't go further into it, demanding what I meant or whether I was serious. He simply said:


And what surprised me even more than his crisp answer was that I didn't feel the slightest doubt that it was true. Things like that just didn't exist - but they obviously did in his world.

This is it, Portman; you've finally lost your goddamned mind…

I took another deep breath. "Elaborate."

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