4. Entre: Vose and Kiss

Apparently, Lucas Lanes was no longer in operation. At least, that's what I thought when we approached the front door of the huge building and the lights were unlit. "Must be closed," I announced sarcastically when we stopped in front of the building. I wasn't too put out by it; the idea of spending the day with Circe and his crew had become entirely unfavorable. They had moved from insulting my face, to my body, to my lifestyle, to my hair color, to my height, until I'd decided to just block them out.

Jessie laughed loudly and obnoxiously and turned to Circe. "She really doesn't get out much, does she?"

I sighed of frustration and blew a piece of purple hair from my eyes. "No, Jessie, I don't get around as much as you do." I smirked. "Unlike you, I was born with the ability to keep my legs closed."

Blushing, Jessie hastily tugged her skirt—which had been riding up past her thighs—down.

"Lucas Lanes isn't really a functioning facility anymore," Matt told me, reaching out and pulling the front door open with ease. Gently, he took hold of my right hand with his left—again, I was forced to become momentarily confused, but eventually I relaxed into his light grip. He led me through the front hall of the building into the main room. Lucas Lanes, as it turned out, was once a bowling alley. The place showed early signs of decay, but was clearly once a very nice business. "Luke's not really…Well, he's our age, and he's got better things to do with his time than run his father's bowling alley, y'know?" I nodded silently, still absorbing as much warmth from his hand as possible.

Jesse yelped loudly from behind me and I jumped slightly. Matt released my hand and laughed—apparently, Jesse had fallen. She gasped quietly and whined, "I broke a nail."

I tossed my head back and laughed freely, the sound echoing awkwardly through the empty space. "Oh, you would," I said with a final laugh. I shook my head, and heard Circe whistle from somewhere behind the decrepit snack counter.

"Anyone want a soda? Someone's been stocking up back here," he called to us.

As Circe and Reese rummaged through the stash behind the counter, Matt took my hand for the third time that day and led me toward aisle seven. "I just like it here because of the old music set-up that they have. C'mon, you'll like this." He smiled widely down at me, and I followed him eagerly, once again concentrating on the heat radiating from his wide palm.

We made our way down the row of lanes, and finally came to a stop at the other end of the building. "The electricity here never got turned off, see," he said as we made our way through a musty mess off cobwebs and dust. "My guess is that Lucas Senior either paid for the bills way in advance, or Luke inherited a little more money than brains from his old man, and he didn't know how to cut the power from this place." He shrugged, winking at me. "Either way, it makes a killer place to hang out."

He tugged me a little faster through a final doorway, and we came out into a separate room. There was a small stage—only half a foot off the floor, really—and some tables, set with red tablecloths and centerpieces. There was a dance floor toward the center, dirty and spotted with rat droppings. In the far left corner of the room was a jukebox, but I knew that wasn't the system Matt was referring to. I gasped and pulled out of his hand entirely, running toward the stage, where the beautiful, antique piano was set up. "It's a Vose," Matt confirmed, watching with a spark in his eye as I ran my fingers along the ivory. Dust coated nearly every key, and my heart broke to think of how poorly tuned it must be, but I was suddenly distracted by Matt's hands trailing over my shoulders. I turned to look at him, and there was a fully-powered fire raging in his eyes as he observed the instrument. "They used to have functions in here…I tried very hard to keep this in tune…" He trailed off, seating himself on the bench, despite the layer of dust. "I'm just going to go until I hear an off-note," he promised me, as if I would honestly mind if he went on a little while.

I stood behind him, hovering carefully over his shoulder to watch him work. I couldn't believe the things that piano could say, without speaking a single word. Matt began to play, spinning out the saddest stories with complex fingers and lovely dancing. I stood where I was and breathed, taking in the sound of the music, the scent of his skin, the emotion behind my wordlessness. It seemed for a moment or two that he might continue forever, but a sour note ultimately surfaced, and we both winced simultaneously. "Sorry," he apologized, putting the top down over the keys and turning to look at me. The burning in his eyes continued on, though, and I felt a fire of my own start inside of me.

"Don't be," I replied, and I was surprised to find myself whispering. I blushed slightly—could feel it heating up under my skin—and he stood suddenly. The bench squealed in protest at being scraped across the wooden stage, but the noise hardly registered in my brain. For the moment, Matt was all that would come to mind. Our bodies were in a shameful proximity, mere inches kept us from melding together. I think I even lost my mind. Heat emitted from his body, and mine, and I felt the flame spur even higher inside me.

We weren't even touching each other, and I could feel the beginnings of a hard climax building slowly in my navel.

Just when it felt like it was too much, Matt made the first move. Before I could do or say a single thing, his mouth was on mine, his hands on my lower back, his pelvis grinding into mine. The intensity of the gesture overwhelmed me, and I reached my hands up to touch his chest, his face, his shoulders—anything that I could get them on, I touched. The kiss deepened—his tongue was suddenly in my mouth—and I struggled to breathe. The dance had just begun, and I was already out of breath.

Matt's lips left mine, and found my jawline, my earlobe, my neck. My hands were in his perfect auburn hair, imagining the things that I wanted him to do to me—when I suddenly heard Circe calling for us. "Matt! Ray!"

"Matt," I whispered, but it came out as a moan. This spurred him on further, causing him to suck lightly at the base of my throat, and I moaned again, speechless. I couldn't find the will—or want—to make him stop, so I forgot to try. I tugged lightly at his ruddy hair and felt the fire continue to grow and swell. "Matt," I moaned again, loving the feel of his tongue on my skin.


We jumped apart so violently that the piano bench was knocked over, and I fell to the floor. Panting heavily, Matt turned to face his brother, leering at us in the doorway. "Of course," he growled. "Of course you would, you ass." He rolled his eyes in disdain, and I attempted to make my heart slow its pace. If it didn't calm down, I would be next in line for a heart attack. "Well, come on, you two—better get you home before you start behaving like animals….More than you already are," he added, turning to leave.

"Circe," Matt said half-heartedly, "That's not fair, man." But Circe was already gone, and we were alone again. He cast me a sidelong glance, and a sheepish grin broke out over his charming face. "Round two?" he asked hopefully.

In spite of myself, I felt a bright smile turn up the corners of my lips. "Maybe later," I said, and he nodded dutifully, understanding that I needed a moment for my thoughts. He came to my side and offered me a hand up, and some of the electricity from moments before sparked briefly again. "Let's go make sure your brother's not throwing a fit," I suggested, and—hand in hand—we walked back through the gloom toward the sound of Jesse's giggling.

The three of them were lazily sprawled out across the benches that had been gathered around lane seven. Jesse was doing her best to be in Circe's lap. Circe's face was pinched sourly, but he didn't say anything mean as Matt and I resurfaced. "Your playing is absolutely wonderful, Matt," Jesse gushed timidly, expressing a reverence that I had not thought her capable of. Matt modestly thanked her, falling into a bench of his own.

"Having fun?" Reese inquired, an impish smirk playing across his lips. I rolled my eyes, but didn't respond, sitting down next to Matt on the bench.

We let the silence speak for us.