I first noticed him in tenth grade. Our names were always together during roll call. Dominic Throckmorton, Nolan Thrysis. My initial impression: 'What the hell kind of last name is Thrysis?'

I never asked him. In fact, I never spoke to him, for all the fact that he'd all-but become my obsession over those last two years. We were facebook friends, despite that, and he 'liked' my status once. I'm more than a little embarrassed to admit how excited that made me.

At first glance, he appeared to be the stereotypical hipster. Upon deeper inspection, that first glance would prove itself to be correct. Tight jeans, vintage tee-shirts, sometimes bearing ironic or witty quotations, natural-brown hair 'artfully' tousled, razor-cut bangs swept to the side, about two percent body fat, likely because he didn't eat meat. Openly bisexual. He wasn't a scene kid. You'd never have called him a scene kid.

And he was my guilty pleasure. I watched him when I knew I wouldn't be caught. Wondering what his just-rolled-out-of-bed hair would feel like. Memorizing the timbre of his voice when he spoke in class. Subtly checking out his ass in those jeans that were too tight to hide anything. All observations that resurfaced in my dreams, and fantasies.

I saw him once, outside of school, in a local coffee shop where I was taking my fake-girlfriend on a date. He was sitting with some other obvious hipsters. They were discussing some indie band I'd never heard of. Amanda broke up with me the next day because I wasn't 'into' our time together. Of course, bitch; how could I have focused on your lime lip gloss and mascara-covered eyelashes when Nolan was at a table a few feet away?

I didn't know if I was gay or bi or what, but my quixotic fascination with him grew into an almost-stalkerish crush pretty quickly. I learned, from his facebook, that his birthday was February twenty-first, that he was a socialist, that his favorite book was The Picture of Dorian Grey, and a whole menagerie of bands that he listened to. Naturally, I checked them all out. Because I was a creeper like that. They were pretty good, even my mainstream-oriented preferences could admit—

My best friend, Matt, waved his hand in front of my face.

"Huh?" I said, intelligently, setting my sandwich down from where I had it in front of my face.

"Dude, Dom, you were all kinds of zoned out, staring at the scene kids," he explained, not without a hint of amusement.

"Hipsters," I automatically corrected him.

"Whatever," he answered with a roll of his eyes.

I shrugged. "I haven't been getting enough sleep, lately," I said, by way of explanation.

"Up late studying for Balfour's test?" Matt asked wryly.

I made a noise somewhere between disgust and agreement. Oh, Dominic, said Mrs. Balfour, the physics teacher, you did so ever so wonderfully in physics one! Please take advanced physics! You'll do so well.

That class was death. I had had an exam last period. "That test was horrible," I groaned.

"That's what you get for being a nerd," Matt quipped, and I discreetly flipped him off.

Matt wouldn't have touched an advanced class with a twenty-nine-and-a-half foot pole. He didn't need to. He was the football team's running back, which apparently was important, but the formalities of football escaped me. I played tennis. And took advanced classes.

"One of these days, when I'm a rocket scientist with women falling over me, you'll wish you were a nerd, too," I retorted.

"No chance in hell," Matt answered with a grin. We had that conversation at least once a day.

Just then, the bell rang, and I looked sadly at my sandwich, which I was going to regret not having finished, later. Nevertheless, I dumped it in the trash and shouldered my backpack, waving to Matt and heading up to my government and politics class. Advanced, of course.

I mounted the stairs with a bit of nervous excitement. Gov and Pol was the only class I had that year with Nolan. I took my seat in the middle of the room and pulled my notes out of my bag, intensely aware of Nolan a few seats behind me.

The tardy bell rang as the last few students filtered in, followed by our elderly-but-energetic teacher, who was holding a stack of papers. I stared aimlessly at the white board, tapping my pen against my lip while Mrs. Larson got settled.

"Alright, class," she said, at length, and the shifting around me stilled, "First thing first: I'm going to assign a project."

No response.

"You'll have a partner."

Muted cheers.

"I'll be choosing your partners."

Cries of despair. A tiny bubble of hope for me.

She decided of prolong the anticipation by explaining the project before assigning partners. I half-listened. Blah, blah, blah, choose a controversial issue, blah, use reputable (not Wikipedia) sources to develop a stance on said issue, blah, blah, typed report no less than fifteen hundred words, blah, blah, blah due on Monday, blah.

"Now, partners," she announced, and I sat up a little straighter. She stared at her seating chart and chose, seemingly at random, "Adam and Brooke. Allison and Landon. Lindsey and Nicole. Nolan and Emily," she kept rambling, and I felt an irrational sense of disappointment.

"Um, Mrs. Larson?" Someone called from the back of the class.

"Yes, Tyler?"

"Emily dropped this class…like, four weeks ago."

"So she did," Mrs. Larson admitted after a second, "Blame my Alzheimer's. Right, then, Nolan and Dominic, Trey and Jessica, Cody and…" I tuned out at that point, and determinedly kept my face blank. An absurd mix of dread and anticipation flooded me. I was the admiring-from-afar type. As fantastic as it would have been to…you know…have Nolan, I was terrified of speaking to him. Call me non-confrontational. I'd have admitted it with pride. What if he hated me for being a conformist sheep? For wearing clothes from American Eagle and Hollister instead of American Apparel and Urban Outfitters? For listening to bands that most people have heard of?

It was just a project, Dom. Calm down.

She finished naming off the pairs, and I returned to the real world. "Now, get with your partner and you'll have fifteen minutes to choose an issue. No two groups can do the same topic, so you can't all do abortion. Sorry. Now, go."

Oh, crap, oh, crap, oh, crap, oh, shit,oh, crap. I was not ready for this. Feigning utter calm and detachment, I turned around to say something, but Nolan was already getting up to move to the empty desk in front of me.

"Hello, Dominic," he said, turned around in the seat and smiling. Oh, god, he said my name. I could die happy.

"Dom," I replied, out of habit. "Only teachers and my mother call me Dominic."

"Right," he acknowledged. "I don't think we've ever actually talked?" He asked, and I nodded a confirmation.

"We're facebook friends," I pointed out.

"Oh, yeah. I think I 'liked' your status, once," he remarked, and I was relieved that I wasn't not the only one who remembered that.

I made a noncommittal noise, and awkwardly glanced down at the assignment sheet.

"So, controversial issues…" I prompted after an uncomfortable silence.

"Something not overdone," he mused, "Like, not abortion, gay marriage, or marijuana legalization."

"Creationism in public schools?" I suggested.

"I did a debate over that last semester…" He said apologetically, and I dropped it.

The silence grew again, cancerous, until he proposed, "Education reform?"

"That could work," I accepted lamely, and quickly added, "Like, why America is so far behind a lot of other developed countries."

"Right, and suggestions to fix the system," he added. "Work for you?"

"Works for me," I acquiesced.

We simultaneously got up to inform Mrs. Larson of our topic, and when Nolan told her, she jokingly replied, "Is this some sort of dig against my teaching?"

"Of course not!" Nolan answered, placing his hand over his heart and feigning an appalled look.

"Just pointing out inherent flaws within the American public education system," I explained.

"All right, then," she said with a twinkle in her eye, "I'll mark it down."

As we sat back down, Nolan asked me, "Do you want to come over to my house tomorrow after school to work on this?"

Okay, this is a dream, I thought. Nolan had just invited me to his house, when the project could have as easily been done at the public library or…anywhere, really. No…this couldn't have been a dream. If it were, Nolan would be have been naked and sexing me up right then.

"Earth to Dom," he said, and I started.

"Sorry, zoned out. Sure, sounds great," I mumbled quickly. Nolan blinked.

"Right. Then. Can I get your number so I can text you directions?"

Nope, definitely a dream. He'd just asked for my number. "Sure," I said, and dug in my backpack for a blank index card. Neatly, I wrote my number on one end, and slid it across the desk to him. Instead of putting it away, he tore the card in half and stole the pen out of my hand. Our fingers brushed. A second later, the half-card was on my side of the desk, with my pen, bearing an unfamiliar number in a nearly-illegible scrawl.

"Return to your seats, class," Mrs. Larson said, and Nolan got up, somehow shoving the half-index card with my number on it into the pocket of his black jeans.

"I'll see you tomorrow," he said.

"Yeah. See you," I replied, managing to conjure up a not-fake smile.

The next day, a Friday, I rushed home after school to scrounge up some food. I had this thing about eating other people's food. As in, I didn't do it. I'd bring my own snacks when I spent weekends at Matt's. And this wasn't Matt, my best friend who used to dig roly-poly bugs out of my mom's garden with me, completely decimating the geraniums. This was Nolan, who I hadn't spoken to before yesterday and who I had had an admittedly-slightly obsessive crush on.

I blew the dust off of a remote bag of microwavable popcorn that I discovered in the bottom of the pantry, and unwrapped it to cook. When it finished popping, I scarfed it down, burning my hands and mouth in the process. Somewhere in the whole mess, my mother got home.

"Dominic? Do they not feed you at school?"

"No, mom. They don't. Not real food, at any rate. Also, I have a government project to work on tonight," I answered.

"Will you be back tonight?" She asked, although I know she didn't really care. She was one of those free-spirited ex-hippie moms who don't believe in restricting the freedoms of youth. That was probably the reason I didn't end up incredibly rebellious. It was also the reason she and dad didn't work out.

I shrugged. "Most likely, yeah. I'm working with someone I don't really know." Was it sad that my heart was pounding to even vaguely make a reference to him in front of my mother?

"Okie-dokie, then. See you later, honey," she said, and wandered toward the back of the apartment. I ate a few more kernels and threw the rest of the bag away, hoisting my backpack and snatching my car keys from the table. From my pocket I extracted my cell phone, and checked the address one more time. Yep, still the same. And yep, it was still a text from Nolan.

I made the drive in silence, as if the very sounds of mass-marketed radio music would taint me with slimy consumerism and conformity. About ten minutes later, I was parked outside a large, inviting looking two-story brick house; a major step up from the downtown apartment where mom and I lived.

I'd never seen a building so terrifying.

With a mask of nonchalance, I walked up the path, returning when I was halfway to the door because I'd forgotten my backpack, and walked backup the path. I even managed to ring the doorbell without passing out.

To my surprise, a frazzled middle-aged woman answered the door, putting on a thin smile to greet me.


"Hi," I replied, "I'm Dom Throckmorton…Government—"

"Oh, yes, the government partner. Nolan's hiding in his room. My daughter's having a sleepover with her friends," she said quickly, explaining the 'frazzled.' She stepped aside to let me in the house.

"I'm sorry?" I said somewhere between dryly and sympathetically, by then standing in the foyer.

She smiled a bit wider, and directed me, "Up the stairs and down to the end of the hall. I bet you can guess which door it is."

"Thank you, ma'am," I said with a nod. There was a loud girlish squeal from my left, and Nolan's mom swished off to do damage control. I located the stairs easily enough, and took them one at a time, excessively slowly. Again, non-confrontational: my middle name. And I didn't want to look like an idiot. Especially not alone with Nolan.

The first door on the upstairs hallway bore a poster of The Jonas Brothers, so I knew immediately that it certainly did not belong to a certain pop-culture-eschewing hipster. The second was open, and showed a very empty, very purple room. The one across the hall looked similar, but green. At the end of the hall, however, there was a blank cracked door and another one, tightly shut, but with music spilling out from the room behind.

That had to be it. I raised my hand to knock, butterflies filling my stomach, then I paused. Wait. I knew that song. Iknew that song. Nolan didn't listen to songs that I knew. He was listening...to Lady Gaga.

The hipster community would have been ashamed.

With a deep breath, I raised my hand again and actually managed to knock that time, loudly enough to be heard over the strains of Ra, ra, ah, ah, ah, roma, roma-mathat were making the door vibrate.

A second later, the music cut off abruptly. The doorknob moved around as, I presume, it got unlocked, and the door swung in a moment after that. Nolan peered out in surprise, and I took a microsecond to give him a once-over. He was wearing the same vintage-looking button-up shirt and tight pants that he was in school, but his feet were naked.

"Dom!" He said, "I'm going to pretend that I remembered you were coming over today."

Some of my instinctive snark reared its head and I said, without thinking, "And I'll pretend I didn't just hear Lady Gaga's Bad Romance."

"Don't tell anyone. Gaga is sucha guilty pleasure," he said hurriedly, waving me in and closing the door behind me. While he locked it, seemingly a habit, I took a second to look around the room. It was, as I had guessed, covered in posters of bands I'd never heard of, and a few that I had, since I had creeped his facebook. I hadn't, however, expected the orderliness of the room itself. The floor was completely clean, unlike mine, which was always covered in clothes (dirties that I was too lazy to wash and clean clothes that I was too lazy to fold).

Finally, I replied, "I won't judge you for your taste in music. I am, after all, the very picture of mainstream conformity." My snark got snarkier when I was uncomfortable.

He laughed slightly, and asked, "What are your opinions of Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Akon, et cetera?"

"I think they're losers who use autotune because they have no musical talent of their own?" I answered with trepidation, hoping that wasn't another 'guilty pleasure.' Come on, even I had that much taste.

Instead, Nolan just nodded, moved around me to claim his chair, and said, "In that case, you'll do."

There was an awkward silence, during which I was still standing lamely, until I ventured to break it, "So…I looked up some sources to use on the project."

"Oh, yeah, so did I," he replied, rolling the chair over to his desk and wiggling the mouse to the computer. "What did you find?" He asked.

"Some comparisons between American schools and students as opposed to some in Europe and Japan. Statistics and such," I answered blandly.

"Ah. I got essays from Americans criticizing the current system. My mom helped. She's a teacher," he said absently, pulling up a few documents on the screen and waving me over.

I wandered that way and bent down to see. He glanced over, and said, "You probably want a chair."

"It would be nice, yes," I answered, daring to take my backpack off and set it against the wall.

"I'll go get you one from downstairs," he offered.

"I can go with you," I replied with a shrug, "No one should have to face small children alone."

"You have siblings?" He asked.

"No, thank Buddha-Allah-Christ," I answered, "I just don't like kids."

"Lucky," he said, drawing out the word, "I have three little sisters and they all love Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers and other miscellaneous Disney channel stars."

"You don't listen to Gaga with them?" I teased nervously.

"My love for Gaga is on a completely different level," he said so quickly that I had to blink to comprehend him.

He got up and opened the door, walking down the hallway. I followed a few steps behind, determinedly keeping my eyes above ass-line. It was a difficult struggle, but I managed. He veered to the right at the bottom of the stairs and we came to what I'm sure was a very nice kitchen, when it wasn't covered in eggs, flour, chocolate chips, sugar, and about eighteen small girls.

Nolan's mom, looking ever more frazzled, glanced up, and said over the din, "We're making cookies."

"We're stealing a chair," Nolan replied in the same manner.

"Okay," she acknowledged, and scampered off to chase a child away from the 'nice' plates.

Nolan and I looked at each other with shared horror, and then laughed, abruptly, the ice finally broken. He grabbed one of the chairs from the table in the breakfast nook and I took it from him, since I was man enough to carry my own chair. I also wasn't a twig like some people I could have mentioned.

All the way back to his room, my ass-viewing angle was blocked by the awkwardly held chair. Naturally.

I set it down near the desk, when we returned, and Nolan unashamedly started his Lady Gaga CD back up, and we got down to Government business.

We'd been working for, I checked the clock, two hours. The awkwardness had disappeared about half an hour in, and, while I was still nervous, I was much more comfortable. It was weird, though, to see Nolan as a person.

That sounds awful, but it was true. He was always a figure in my head, or an ideal. He had a personality, and quirks. Like that he kept scrubbing his hand over his brown eyes, or raising an eyebrow when he got stuck in the wording of our report.

Speaking of the report, we were almost done. Main points, summarized and detailed. Alternative situations proposed. Said situations qualified. Hypothetical scenarios played out. Works properly cited. Concluding paragraph still needed.

"I'm terrible at writing conclusions," I admitted when he looked plaintively my way.

"Gah, me, too. Mrs. Patterson…" That was our English teacher. "…Always marks my essays down because I basically rewrite the opening for the conclusion."

"I definitely do the same thing," I stated.

There was a contemplative silence as we both stared at the LCD screen of the laptop, the only light in the room, since the sun had gone down.

Non sequitur, Nolan said, "You know, Dom, I always thought you were kinda dumb."

"What?" I asked, offended and hurt.

He realized what he said, and quickly rambled, "No—you proved me wrong. You just never said anything in class, or really added to any discussions, you know."

I shrugged. "I'm just not really talkative."

He huffed a half-laugh. "I've gathered that."

Pettily, I replied, "I always thought you were shallow." I glanced up at the look on his face, and amended my statement with, "But I guess appearances can be deceiving."

"Yeah," he said softly, staring back at the computer, "They can."

He suddenly burst into a flurry of typing, and I observed the words that appeared on the screen, occasionally adding suggestions for improvement or prompts if he trailed off. Within three minutes, we had a concluding paragraph.

"Done!" He exclaimed as he dramatically pressed the final period with a flourish. I almost laughed but settled for a smile.

"I'll print this off tomorrow; the only printer's downstairs and the living room is probably covered with small children," he said.

"Alright," I agreed, "I'll head home, then?"

"You don't have to," Nolan offered, quickly. The butterflies erupted, but I just looked quizzically at him.

"I mean, we've never really hung out, and, well, you're a pretty okay guy. Different from the people I usually hang out with…you know…the…" He faded.

"Hipsters," I supplied, with a smirk.

"…Yeah," he agreed reluctantly.

"Sure," I decided suddenly, "I'll stick around a bit." Although the nervousness multiplied. Now that there was no project to focus our minds on, what would we talk about? Really, Nolan and I had about…three things in common. Well, maybe a few more, but we were very different.

"You want anything to eat?" He asked, and I shook my head, hoping it didn't come off as rude. Truth be told, I was a little hungry, but…I just didn't eat people's food. My eccentricity. I don't know.

"That's a shame, because knowing my sisters, there are probably enough cookies to feed an African country downstairs…"

"Small child cookies. Touched by small child hands. And who knows where those have been," I said with a shudder.

"Ew, you're right. I never considered that. I always thought cookies were an absolute good," he replied with something akin to horror. It was enough to wrench a small laugh out of me.

After a pause, more companionable than uncomfortable, he asked, "So, for the purpose of getting to know each other better: you know my guilty pleasure. What's yours?"

You, I thought. "Foreign films," I answered honestly enough. "My mom brings them home, a lot, and…I really like them," I finished lamely.

"Very nice. The…hipster…clique would approve," he commented, saying 'hipster' with general distaste. Hypocrite.

"Yeah, and I'd never live it down if my friends knew that," I said.

"Same with my Gaga addiction," he sympathized.

"So this stays between us," I said with a twinge of irony. "Any more probing questions?" Anything to keep the silence from returning.

"Of course, I'm full of 'em. So, what's something about you that no one else knows?"

I have a slightly stalkerish crush on you."You first," I requested.

He took a breath. "Okay." Pause. "I actually do eat meat. Just not around my friends. I love bacon."

"There went my theory for why you're so skinny," I muttered.

"Fast metabolism and good genes," he announced proudly. "Now your turn."

Oh, yeah. Well, I wasn't about to mention the fact that I'd very much have liked him naked underneath me right that second, so I went with something vaguely related to that. "Matt…you know Matt, right?" He nodded. "Anyway, he keeps setting me up with girls, but I'm not really into any of them. I just have girlfriends because…I'm supposed to."

"Really? You're not dating Abby?" He asked.

"No," I answered forcefully. "Abby would like to pretend we're dating. I'd be happier if she moved to Iceland, though I'd never get over the guilt of inflicting her on those poor Icelandic people." Abby was the tennis team captain and she flirted shamelessly and obnoxiously with me. At every opportunity.

"Wow, that's certainly cleared up. So, you're waiting for that special girl?" he asked teasingly.

I shrugged, and answered thoughtlessly, "I'm not really much into girls at all." Before I realized how that sentence sounded and went to rectify it, he queried, "Boys?"

Feeling bold, I stopped mid-thought, and admitted, "Maybe." I met his eyes in the dimness of the laptop-lit room. To occupy my hands while I waited for an answer, I turned on the desk lamp.

"Hey, Dom, I'm about the least likely person to judge you for that. Don't look so terrified," he said, grinning. I didn't respond, so he went on, "Any particular type you go for?"

The tall, skinny, hipster kind named Nolan Thrysis."I dunno," I answered noncommittally.

"Eh," he said, "I kind of prefer the Aryan type. Blond hair, blue eyes? On girls and guys."

I had blond hair and blue eyes. Was that some sort of subtle flirtation, or was I being way too optimistic? It might just be an honest assertion of preferences.

Nevertheless, I replied, "Well…I kind of go for brunettes."

He gave me an odd look. Shit, I was transparent. Completely obvious. "Isn't your friend Matt a brunette?" he asked.

The look of disgust on my face must have been apparent, because he was laughing before I even got a chance to say, "Matt? Ew, no. That's just…gross, that's wrong. He's practically my brother. And incest is notbest."

Finally catching his breath, Nolan said, "I'm sorry. I assumed."

"Well, you know what they say about assuming."

"No, what do they say?" He questioned honestly.

"You haven't heard this?" I asked incredulously. "It makes an ass out of U and ME," I explained.

"Oh," he said with a smile, "That's clever."

"I didn't make it up," I qualified.

"Still clever," he reasserted flippantly, "So, back to our earlier discussion." Right, the one about my sexuality. Which was really weird to talk about with my crush. My male crush.

"Does your mom know?" He asked.

"No," I said, shaking my head.

"Think she'd be mad?"

"Hell no. She's probably throw me a party and use it as an excuse to finally join PFLAG."

"Your mom's cool," he laughed, "Mine is not happy with me swinging both ways."

"Yeah, well, mine did some pretty hardcore drugs back in the seventies," I explained. It was entirely true. She'd told me all sorts of stories about her experiences. That would be reason I'd never tried drugs.

"Hm, and yet you turned out relatively normal."

"Lucky, I guess," I said with a shrug.

"Right. So, ever kissed a guy?" He asked, and I could feel my face turn the color of radishes.

"Um. No. You're the first person I've even mentioned the possibility of not being straight to," I mumbled rapidly.

"Wow, I feel special," he commented.

"You should," I replied, trying to sound disdainful, and failing.

"Do you want to?"

"Want to what?"

"Kiss a guy, obviously," he answered exasperatedly.

"Um," I replied intelligently.

Nolan laugh-sighed. "Memo to self: subtlety doesn't work on Dom. That was an open invitation."

"An open invitation to what?" I asked, more and more confused and uncomfortable with the conversation. At some point, I knew I was going to mention something about my weird crush on him, or hint at it enough to give it away, at least.

I'd apparently zoned out, because I yelped when I felt Nolan gently clap his hands against the sides of my face. They didn't fall away. "Dom, I was wrong. You are dumb. Do you wanna make out?"

He leaned over me; I was still in the chair. Way too close. Mind functions had ceased. "Buh," I said, the epitome of the honor student.

"Is that a yes? Because unless you say something in the next three seconds, I'm taking it as a yes."




Smirk grew. "Alright, then," he said breathily, and moved in. I was still frozen. I'd had countless fantasies that started like that, and now that it was actually happening, I couldn't even respond. Our noses brushed, and I found myself tilting my face, eyes fluttering closed.

A microsecond later, his mouth covered mine, parting my lips, moving so that our breath mingled. My mind was still conspicuously empty of coherent thought. The friction was electric, nothing like kissing one of my girlfriends-of-convenience.

At some point the thought registered in my mind that it was probably awkward for him, leaning over me like that, so I scooted the chair backwards and stood up, all without breaking contact. I started when his hands slid down to my hips, and he grinned against my mouth before moving away from my lips to attack my jaw line.

I bit my lip to silence a whimper, and brought my hands up to tangle in his hair. His lips returned to mine, then, moving perfectly, still slow, almost cautious. I didn't know when it happened, or if it was an all-at-once thing, but suddenly any semblance of innocence was gone from this kiss, as it turned less exploratory, more hot, and urgent. My heart pounded in my ears as our tongues clashed, teeth nip, and his hands roamed. Hips, thighs, shoulders, back, down my chest and under my shirt. I shivered at the touch of his hands on my skin, and we broke apart just long enough for him to pull the offending article off of me. This should have been awkward—I should have been terrified, but I was way too ecstatic, and more than a little too turned on, for that.

I wanted more contact—I needed him closer. My fingers fumbled at his shirt, somehow still careful not to pop the buttons off. When I finished, he shrugged it off, and I set to exploring the planes of his stomach, memorizing them as I dropped my mouth to his neck, alternating between soft kisses and bites, thrilled by every tiny sound that vibrated in his throat.

When we broke apart again, he murmured, "Come here," and led me to his bed, where I was forcefully pushed down. I was disoriented for a moment before his warm weight settled over me, mouth crashing hard against mine. I don't think either of us meant it to go that far. Then, he rolled his hips against mine, which jerked involuntarily at the contact, and I found I didn't care. He laughed softly, and I silenced him by pulling his head down for another kiss. I managed to flip our positions so that I was on top of him, his legs wrapped around my hips. He arched against me and I groaned, way more turned on than I'd ever been by one of my girlfriends. Our pants were too much of a barrier—they had to go. Nolan seemed to read my thoughts, because his fingers were at my belt buckle, as shaky and fumbling as mine had been at his shirt a few minutes ago.

The belt gave in, and the button and zipper of my jeans followed it. I don't know how he did it, but he flipped me back over, and began working his mouth down over my neck, shoulders. Across my chest, down onto my stomach. From somewhere around my navel, he asked, "Do you have to be home tonight?"

I had to think for a minute, distracted from his words by the feeling of his breath on my skin. Hesitatingly, I answered, "I told my mom I would be." He just hm'd and began to move even lower, tugging at my pants to get them off.

"But," I said, unevenly, "She's a hippie. She won't care."

"That's what I thought," he said, and that was the last coherent sentence said for quite a while.