A.N. This chapter is rated PG-13. Don't ask why. Just believe me…it is. One more thing also, when you see writing that's in thought (italics and single quotation marks indicates when someone is thinking) if one word in the thoughts is not italicized then that means that that particular word is emphasized. So if there was a regular statement like: "No freaking way!" Then in thoughts it would look like this: 'No freaking way!' Got it? Good. This chapter has tons in store so READ!

After the Rain

Chapter 9

Everyone had eaten dinner and was now sitting in the living room watching T.V. together. The only reason Deserae had joined them though was to hopefully make eye contact with Joey; a would-be hint that he'd forgiven her. He hadn't looked her way once during dinner.

Deserae's parents huddled closely together on one end of the couch, while Helena sat on the floor in front of them and Lacey had climbed into the recliner. Joey sat at the far end of the couch from Adam and Ashley while Deserae sat between the couple that was her parents and a crossed-armed Joey.

She was subtly glancing at Joey every so often to see if just maybe he was looking at her. Once she thought she saw him avert his eyes away quickly when she'd looked his way. She feigned interest in the Disney program that Ashley and Adam had put on mainly for the girls, when actually her attention was completely withdrawn while in her mind she was assessing what had happened that day with Joey and her guilt for her crude actions. And she couldn't stop wondering if Joey might ever look her way to signal the silent treatment was up.

'God this is so boring.' Deserae thought, passing another glance Joey's way. He was oblivious, and seemingly interested with the T.V. program. 'Wait a sec, why is he so engrossed in a Disney movie?'

There was a knock at the door, causing Deserae to jump. Finally Joey looked at her, but just a quick glance. She jerked her head in his direction praying that they'd make eye contact. They didn't. He looked away immediately.


"What, Mom?" She answered pulling her attention away from Joey distractedly. Her mom was gawking at her. Then Adam looked her way too.

"Aren't you going to get the door?"

"Huh?" She composed herself and remembered the knock at the door. "Oh!" She jumped off the couch and walked quickly to the door. She opened it and was shocked at who stood behind it.

"Malcolm!" She choked out.

"Hi, Babe." Malcolm said with that easy smile of his. He looked over Deserae's shoulder.

"Hi, Mr. J, Mrs. J." He greeted. After noticing that the girls were completely unaware of him, Malcolm turned to Joey who was openly glaring at him. "Hey man. What's up?" Malcolm had a smug look on his face that made Joey clench his fists.

"Hey" He replied in a cold voice over his shoulder, as he got off the couch and stalked to the stairs and up to his room. Deserae was still staring at Malcolm, surprised that he'd come over. Especially after that stunt she'd pulled at school. She thought for sure he'd be angry with her.

"Mr. and Mrs. J, do you mind if I escort Dez outside to talk?" The couple both shook their head without looking Malcolm's way, implying their authorization. "Dez?"

"Yea?" Deserae answered meekly. She was really feeling guilty for everything that had been going on in her head that had to do with Joey just moments before Malcolm arrived.

"Do you want to step outside with me and close the door?" Malcolm asked. Deserae closed the door as she stepped over the threshold and walked out into the warm October night. Malcolm led her by the crook of her elbow to his truck. He opened the passenger door for her and she slid in. He closed it and walked around to the driver's side. It was the first time Deserae had ever seen him practice any type of chivalry when they weren't in her parent's presence.

Deserae situated herself to face him as Malcolm jumped in and closed his own door. He put his right arm over the back of the single seat and pulled his hair behind his ear with his other hand. His eyes looked up at Deserae with his head tilted downward. Deserae's heart began to race.

'God he's so hot when he does that!'

"How are you doing tonight, Babe?" Malcolm asked with a smooth, deep voice.

"Okay." Deserae squeaked. "What about you?"

"A lot better now that I am sitting here with you…alone." Deserae swallowed. She rubbed her moist palms on her jean clad thighs. "Are you okay?" Malcolm asked her and leaned closer to tilt her chin up.

"Mmm-hmm." She voiced.

"Good." Malcolm leaned forward to close the distance that separated their lips. As Malcolm kissed her with more passion than he had in, like, forever, Deserae couldn't help but wonder why he was suddenly acting so…different. He should've been mad at her for her inappropriate actions. But instead he was acting…romantic. Deserae began to feel a little uneasy, though, when he pulled her closer by her waist and laid her down on her back. He positioned himself partially on top of her, and kissed her with more force than ever. She was about to push him off when he pulled away and leaned down to whisper in her ear.

"I love you." His voice was gravely, the way it always sounded when he said that, which wasn't very often. Only like, two times, if Deserae could recall. And always after a really horrible fight in which she'd initiated it by bringing up his "old ways." But Deserae didn't take this "I love you" for granted. She jerked his head down to hers in a kiss that would have probably been painful if there hadn't been a colony of butterflies swarming in her belly. They lay there kissing for minutes that felt like hours. Deserae didn't want to stop, despite her lips which were more than likely swollen and red from the fiery make-out session. But she did want to stop when she felt Malcolm gently lift the bottom hem of her tank top and begin to slide his hand up to her breasts.

She pushed his hand down, and extricated her tongue from his overly experienced one. "Malcolm, no." She whispered. He looked at her so intense and she felt her heart pounding against her ribs. He leaned down and began kissing her neck making her body fall limp in pure physical bliss. He went back to sliding his hand underneath her shirt. He lightly ran it over her bra. And just the heat of his hand, even through her bra made Deserae quiver. She wanted him to stop, but her body didn't. He continued caressing her through her bra, but when he started to unclasp it she broke from her state of physical pleasure and sat up. "Malcolm." She said apologetically but with a hint of disapproval.

"What's wrong?" He asked in a completely sincere tone while sitting up himself. Again she expected him to be angry with her for not letting him go farther, as he always was after every steamy make-out session. Taken aback with his earnestness, Deserae forgot what she'd wanted to say, and almost threw herself at him and started kissing him again. After regaining composure she continued. "This isn't how I wanted this moment to be."

"I understand." Malcolm replied and reached over to brush her messy hair out of her face.

'Okay, he is acting so weird.' Instead of saying this out loud Deserae chose to go with, "You do?" Malcolm laughed.

"Yea, Dez. I do." He stared at her again with intense eyes. The butterflies returned. She blushed and broke eye contact. 'What the heck is going on? It feels like we just barely started going out all over again. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.'

"So do you want to just talk for a little while?" Malcolm offered after pecking her on the lips very softly. Okay, now Deserae was really disoriented. And confused? Duh! This was totally not the Malcolm she had been going out with for nine months. He was like a completely different guy. In a totally good way, of course. And while she'd been tangling her hands in his oh-so-soft mane she'd noticed that he'd eased up on the gel and had quite possibly taken to using some Pantene Pro-V himself. But this was still too much. Way too much. Malcolm was not himself tonight. And Deserae didn't want to stick around much longer for him to come off cloud 9 and remember the jerky things she'd done that day.

"No, I think I am just going to go inside and go to bed. I'm kind of tired." She said. And when Malcolm nodded approval she smoothed out her clothes and hair, and removed any remnants of smeared lip gloss. It was a given that she made out with her boyfriend, but for her parents to actually see proof of it; how embarrassing!

"I'll see you tomorrow at school." Deserae said and opened the door. She looked back at Malcolm to be melted by his well-executed "I'm-so-vulnerable-and-totally-hot-right-now-so-can't-resist-against-kissing-me" look. And she did. He held her petite face close to his and let his fingers weave themselves in her hair for that few seconds that they kissed.

Finally Deserae was walking up the cement pathway to the front door. She didn't turn around as Malcolm's truck peeled out. When she opened the front door she saw that everyone had gone to bed, and that the T.V. was off. She checked the clock in the kitchen: 9:45. She'd been talking (and making out) with Malcolm for like an hour and a half. She pressed her tingling lips together with uncertainty. Malcolm was acting way out of character. But it was a good change. Strange and unexpected, but good.

'Very…very good.' Deserae thought while closing her bedroom door behind her, forgetting about her entire dilemma with Joey.


Malcolm adjusted his rearview mirror as he rode along the freeway. He smiled with self satisfaction as a caught a glimpse of his own handsome face in the reflective surface.

"I am so good." He said aloud, and smiled deviously. A smile that Deserae had seen no trace of that night.

A.N. Okay despite that little bit of romance novel trash content how was it? You got a little insight into how things are going to be and how those circumstances are going to lead up to a very BIG part of the story. So yea. Please give me mucho mucho feedback! And criticize! PLEASE!