A little over a month ago...
The night had been perfect. The day had been perfect. The week, the last month, were all perfect. Now the moment was perfect. Lynn wondered exactly what she had done to have earned such a perfect time in her life. Short of drowning puppies in a box, she would do anything to bank more times like this one.
Strolling through the corridor of her building towards her apartment, trying to stay whimsical, sexy, and cool, she was having trouble hiding the giddiness she felt. In one hand was a bouquet, a pricey arrangement of exquisite, colourful flowers. Really, she could have been holding a dried stick and she'd be feeling the same excited way. It was what she was holding in her other hand that got her heart throbbing and charged her nerves.
A strong, deep -tanned hand held her softer hand in an impossibly gentle grasp. Lynn smiled broadly, her upper teeth pinching on her lower lip. Pulling away her eyes that were trailing on the carpeted corridor before her, she looked up and towards the owner of the hand that held hers. Dominic turned and smiled warmly, narrowing his amber-brown eyes that seemed to reflect every bit of light that hit them with a teasing twinkle. Though already glowing from the alcohol she had consumed earlier that evening, Lynn could feel her face flush at least a shade deeper pink just looking up at him.
It shouldn't have been this easy. After a few years of not really trying to hook up with anyone and bouncing around short, casual relationships, Olivia and other friends had managed to coax her into giving a long term relationship a shot. With their help, she created a profile on one of those online dating services, posted a picture, and hit the enter button. A flood of messages awaited her the next morning when she checked her inbox.
Admittedly, it was exciting to see so much interest poured upon her...at first. Sorting and reading through the messages, while fun and amusing for awhile, soon became a chore, especially when most of them came across as either shallow, totally off the mark, or often downright lurid. After the first dozen, she didn't even bother to respond and clicked the delete button like she had a nervous twitch.
After about two weeks of this --not really being a patient person when it came to these things-- she had just about given up. Gazing at a screen of unopened messages, she decided to click on one last email: "Hey, Let's Talk." That simple message opened to a profile page of a decidedly attractive man: swarthy complexion, dimpled and squared jaw, shaved head, thick and dark brows hovering over light brown eyes. The caption under the picture: "This is my brother. He got all the ugly genes." That made Lynn chuckle. The rest of the profile piqued her interest more than enough for her to send a reply and invite to share some more info about one another.
It hadn't taken too many emails to exchange phone numbers and soon after that, they set up the ubiquitous meet up at a coffee shop. Yet, the moment Lynn had entered the café and saw Dominic at a table by the window, waving her down with his very agreeable smile, she knew this wasn't going to be a 'one cup of coffee and good-bye' date.
Dominic was well-groomed, looking fine in a black dress shirt and blue jeans. He had a confident, deep voice. His handsome face accompanied an obviously healthy physique.
"What in the world are you doing using a dating service?" Lynn teased midway through their conversation.
"You give me your answer first. If I decide it's better, I'll use it," he replied.
But even more appealing than his physical attractiveness and charm, was his maturity. That was it for Lynn, really. Everyone else, from the guys she dated to the guys who sent her messages through the service, she felt she couldn't quite trust probably because they came off as immature. Dominic was five years older than her. For whatever reason, she sensed there was going to be no messing around with this fellow, no games. She hoped so anyway. She really wanted to trust him.
It didn't take much longer after that to want something else from him.
A month of casual dating, with the stars aligning each time they met, led up to this night. Dominic's masculine maturity had somehow ebbed its way into that part of their relationship as well. He was the reserved one when it came to being intimate. Lynn had been sending out signals during the last three or four times they had been together, yet Dominic never followed the flares she had launched. Their many passionate make-out sessions didn't help, either. It was beginning to drive her crazy.
So it would be on this night, Lynn's night.
Despite her short, tight, burgundy party dress and heels, Lynn practically skipped the last few metres to her door, pulling Dominic along with her. She leaned up against her door and continued to burn a sultry stare at him.
Dominic stood over her and asked, "So Lynn, did you have a good birthday?"
Lynn, always smiling, closed her eyes and nodded slowly. "Mm-hmm," she mused. She opened her eyes and added, "If I had known turning 30 would be like this, I wouldn't have been so apprehensive about it."
Truthfully, Lynn was never one to be bothered with those "milestone" birthdays. It was only after meeting Dominic did she realize how precious time could be and how quickly it flew by. She wanted to spend as much time with this man as possible. Time felt so good when she was with him. She urgently prepared herself to feel even better in the next few minutes.
Lynn grabbed for Dominic's tie and pulled him down towards her face. Parting her lips seductively, she planted a kiss on his lips.
"Feel kind of bad just leaving Olivia and the others at the club," Dominic said, leaning back a little.
This time Lynn shook her head, "Uh-uh. Not the time for bad feelings, only good ones. Besides, it's my party and I want to unwrap my gift."
As she pulled him in for another heated kiss, she raised her foot and pressed it back against the door, lifting the curve of her knee in between his legs. Gently she pressed forward, her bare thigh brushing seductively at his crotch.
"Mmm...umm," she hummed as she folded her mouth over his, pulling back on his lower lip with her teeth.
She was ready to take the man in the hallway. Instead, she pushed him back, thrusting the bouquet into his arms so she could get her keys out of her purse. With a naughty giggle, she undid the lock and shoved open her door.
Without even bothering to turn on the foyer light, she flung her purse into the floor of the dark apartment. The flowers quickly followed, Lynn yanking them out of the hands of Dominic as he still stood in the hallway.
Her dark eyes narrowing into curving slits, Lynn took his hands and stepped backwards, pulling him into her apartment. With a quick flick of her leg, she kicked the door shut.
The sounds of her cooing giggles and their quick kisses filled the apartment as she continued to back-pedal, leading him in the darkness. The path quickly led them into her bedroom.
Lynn pawed the wall at the side of the door, turning the dimmer switch, casting the secluded room in a warm, orange glow from a table lamp beside her bed. She continued to deliberately lead her man around the room towards the edge of the bed. Their lips continuously engaged, she pivoted him around. Finally pulling away and taking a half step back, Lynn extended a finger, placed it firmly in the centre of Dominic's chest, and pushed, sitting him down onto the bed.
He gave her his full attention, sitting silently, taking deep breaths as she took another step back. He had a full view of Lynn as she kicked off her high heels and cocked a taunting eyebrow toward him. She reached for a zipper at the side of her dress and pulled it down slowly.
A faint shadow of intimidation fell across Dominic's normally confident brow as he watched her shimmy out of her fitted dress, pausing deliberately for a moment as she held it at her bosom, then sliding it past her flat belly, over her round hips and down her smooth legs. Lynn was a little surprised to notice the odd expression on his face. Still, the idea that she was able to unnerve a man like Dominic by slipping out of her dress was an undeniably pleasing one.
Lynn stood before him in the dim room wearing her black lace bra and sheer hip-hugger panties, letting him soak her in. No words had passed between them since they entered the apartment. She was letting her actions scream her desires as she took deliberately slow and small steps towards the bed. She leaned over him, lifting his chin upwards, feeling his light stubble on her fingertips, and kissed him hungrily. She slipped her knees up onto the bed beside his legs. She felt his strong hands wrap around her bottom as she straddled his lap.
As their lips meshed, she continued to lean forward until Dominic had no choice but to lean back down onto the bed, Lynn kneeling over him. She gyrated her hips, rubbing her crotch against his. Her motions definitely had the desired effect on the man, feeling a stiff pulse behind his pants.
Lynn curled her body like a cat, moving her mouth earnestly away from his lips, down his chin, nuzzling his neck. She inhaled, breathing in his cologne like a drug. She sat up for a moment, tossing her hair back with a swift flick of her head. Chewing on the side of her bottom lip, an urgent, determined look on her face as her fingers deftly worked the buttons of Dominic's purple silk shirt. No sooner had she pulled it from under his pants and dispatched the last button was she bending down over him again, pushing apart his shirt, and using her lips and tongue on him again.
Dominic's eyes shifted from toward the ceiling, down over his nose as he watched Lynn, then back upward as he felt her soft lips caress his skin. Her head bobbed with the increasingly accentuated rise and fall of his chest. A deep, languid sigh escaped his lips as her tongue swirled around his nipple and pinched it with her teeth.
Lynn revelled in his reactions as she kissed and licked his chest. Pleased with herself, and feeling the heat flush through every inch of her skin, she resumed her path down his body with renewed vigour. Sliding down, she slinked off the bed, crouching between his legs as they hung over the bedside. Working her hands with a determined assuredness, the clasp at his pants snapped apart quickly. Dominic raised himself onto his elbows and looked down towards the bottom edge of the bed just as Lynn unzipped his fly. With her beckoning tugs at the waist of his pants, he raised his hips, helping her as she slid his pants down to his ankles.
Lynn's eyes narrowed on the stiff shaft spiking behind his black boxer briefs. She didn't blink as she pulled them down releasing Dominic as he sprung to hard, aroused attention.
"Lynn, I...," he uttered, the first words to pass between them since they entered the apartment. He intended to follow them up, but, without acknowledging his comment, she took up his shaft in her hand and drove her lips over it. Dominic's jaw hung low as he was saturated with the warm dampness of Lynn's mouth, speechless save for a drawn out, raspy breath.
Lynn wrapped her mouth feverishly up and down his rigid length. She felt it throb and nudge against her tongue and inner cheeks. Her one hand wrapped around the bottom of his cock, the other reached up and danced along his tight abdominal plates. She lifted her head up, her lips barely hovering over his domed-head, circling her tongue around his tip before going down on him once more. In between slurps and gasps, she hummed and giggled with her mouth full. This was supposed to be her birthday present, she thought. Why was she doing all the work? Yet, seeing his rippling length jutting enticingly up like that had just pulled her in. The man's guttural moans were a heady reward...for awhile.
After a few minutes, Lynn rolled up onto her feet and stood at the edge of the bed over Dominic. She had that "Ready now?" look on her pretty, flushed-pink face. So wrapped up in the moment, she didn't pay much attention to the return of the concerned, troubled expression on Dominic's face, even as she burned her eyes right into it. Her hands went behind her back. With a soft "snap", she undid the clasp, and peeled the black strapless lace away from her heaving bosom.
"Lynn....there's something...," Dominic was struggling to push words out of his mouth.
To Lynn, he was a big, handsome mute at the moment. She hooked the hip bands of her panties with her thumbs and pulled them down, slipping them off her ankles. She stood up, still holding them, smiled wickedly and then dropped them to the floor. She knew, right at that moment, she never looked or felt sexier in her life.
Still smiling, she fell forward onto the bed, like diving from a cloud. Her nude flesh expected the touch of Dominic's warm, hard body against it, his hands and arms holding her firmly, and in moments, his hot cock thrusting into her over-and-over with aggressive verve.
Instead, she fell face first into the soft duvet and pillows of her bed. She smelled his cologne on the sheets but Dominic wasn't there. She looked up, more than a little surprised. Somehow the big man had managed to roll to the side and off the bed.
"Do-Dominic? Wha...What...?" she gasped, trying to keep her heart down her throat.
Dominic stood at the side of the bed, simply gawking at her. His mouth was open, even moving a little, but nothing came out of them for a few seconds.
"What is it?" Lynn said managing to string together a coherent sentence. The lost expression on his face suddenly became evident to her.
Still pausing for a moment, Dominic finally spoke up, "Lynn...uh. Sorry. Bathroom?"
She stared at him hard then shook some cobwebs from her head. "Outside, door to the left. But...-"
Pointing with both hands, Dominic repeated, "Outside, door to the left. Gotcha."
Lynn blinked. Each time she did, the confident, handsome man she was just about to give herself over to completely peeled away to reveal a more and more desperately awkward stranger. Before she could speak again, however, he was shuffling out the bedroom door, pants and underwear still at his shins.
Rolling over, Lynn sat up and curled her legs up to her chest and waited.
She could hear Dominic fumbling around in her bathroom.
"Are...is everything okay?" she called out, the passionate expectancy of just a few minutes ago swiftly dispelling. Maybe she should have asked if he wanted to go to the toilet first when they had entered the apartment.
Still, she felt pretty confident that they could work themselves back up to the level of heat they had attained...until she saw Dominic slowly enter her bedroom again, his nose pointed down at the floor.
Lynn's eyebrows stitched. "Why are you dressed?"
Dominic sighed and looked off to the side as he pressed his shirt down with his hands aimlessly.
She didn't say anything else as she waited for a response.
"Lynn...baby...I'm sorry. I can't do this," he said reluctantly, "Not to you."
"Why...why not? What's wrong?"
His eyes were on every part of the room except where she was sitting. When he finally did meet her gaze he said with a steady, earnest voice, "You're such an amazing, beautiful woman..."
Oh...shit. Lynn's eyes widened on her otherwise stupefied face. She almost immediately knew where this was going.
"I mean, you're really, really incredible and sexy and fun...I really like you," he continued to spill.
Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.
"I mean...I can't do this to you," he rambled on, "I thought we could just keep it fun and light..."
"What are you talking about?" Lynn coughing a stilted laugh, trying to keep herself under control, "I don't understand what you..."
She was interrupted by the heavy R&B music playing from within Dominic's pants pocket. He froze.
It continued to play with the two people in the room simply facing one another.
Lynn turned her head slightly and squinted a suspicious eye toward him. "Aren't you going to answer that?" she asked bluntly.
Dominic remained unmoving until the cell-phone stopped leaving a swell of tension in the air.
"I...uh...Lynn, I had started seeing someone just a couple of months before you," Dominic confessed, "Met her online the same as you, to be honest. Kinda funny, huh?"
Lynn's jaw dropped. Oh damn...
"You're both such incredible people," he started to speak faster, "And I thought..."
"Oh my God! Are you kidding me?!" Lynn finally burst.
"I know! I know! I'm a shit! I know that!' Dominic said moving toward her, "I couldn't help it! At the time Zoe and I were just casually..."
"I don't want to know her name for God's sake!" Lynn spat and rolled off the bed. She stomped over to her closet.
"I thought we were all just casually dating!"
Lynn yanked a blue robe off a hanger and pulled it on, cinching the fabric belt with a firm tug. She glared back at him, livid. "You could have told me that before I put your dick into my mouth!"
"You're right, I should have ended it."
"You were going to end it? With me? On my birthday?" she sputtered.
"Lynn, believe me, you're an amazing, amazing woman! Any guy would want you! If she and I weren't already..."
"ON MY BIRTHDAY?!"
Lynn's vision was beginning to blur and her throat hurt almost as bad as her heart and guts. She felt the tears welling up in her eyes. "Get out of here," she demanded, "Now. Get the hell out!"
She shoved him by the arm out of her bedroom and across the apartment floor.
"Lynn, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...,"
"Get out!" she yelled.
She managed to push him out the door and into the hallway.
Before she slammed the door on him, Dominic turned around and asked, "Are you going to be okay? I'm sorry. I really mean it, Lynn."
"Grow up!" Lynn whipped the door shut.
She stood at the door in the dark, listening to a few more pleading apologies from Dominic before they finally stopped. Her body shook but she couldn't move her feet, unsure of what to do or where to go. She didn't know if she wanted to cry, scream or what and she didn't know how long she had stood there fuming.
It had been perfect. The night had been...perfect.
* * * * * * * * Now...
Lynn approached the back entrance to the community centre.
One of the unofficial perks of being a supervisor at the centre was to have a key to the complex and secluded access to the facilities, namely the pool. Pappi, the elderly night custodian, didn't mind it at all whenever Lynn dropped in after hours. He always seemed to welcome the company and flirted harmlessly with her.
She unlocked the door and stepped in, quickly making her way to the alarm panel and punching in the all clear code.
"Safe," she breathed, always nervous about the alarm going off.
Lynn gasped and whirled around at the sound of the voice behind her. She felt the blood drain from her startled face as she jumped back against the wall. "Oh shit!" she blurted, "I...uh...Ah...Adam?"
The young man stood before her with his hands in his shorts pockets and a bemused look on his face.
Tilting her head and knitting her brow, Lynn shook the shock from her head and said, "Don't do that!"
Adam chuckled and shrugged. "Sorry," he said, "I heard someone come in through the back door so I came to check it out."
"What the hell are you..." Lynn spat then abruptly caught herself, trying to gather her words and thoughts, "Why are you still here?"
"Well, as long as it doesn't get Paps into any trouble," Adam replied, "When he came in, he was telling me he needed to go somewhere tonight but couldn't get the time off, so I told him that I'd cover. You know, just get some stuff cleaned up for the old guy."
"Oh." Lynn knew that this wasn't normally acceptable, but she really liked Pappi, and would never want to put the sweetheart of a man through any trouble. Besides, she wasn't exactly allowed to be sneaking in and using the facilities, either.
"What are you doing here?" Adam asked.
Lynn winced slightly. It was as if he was reading her mind. "Sometimes..." she began to say. Pausing to sigh, she finally continued, "Sometimes I come in for an after hours swim in the pool."
He nodded. "Cool," he said.
"Wait," Lynn called to him as she followed behind, "Aside from helping out Pappi, why are you here? I thought you'd be going out with your friends tonight for your birthday."
He smirked and joked, "No one ever arrives early to their own party."
"Oh, of course. Silly me."
"Besides, Paps said he'd pay me his wages for the night. I could use the cash."
"Let me guess," Lynn retorted, "Booze, cigarettes, and women?"
"No, got all those, already," he replied, scratching the back of his head, "Gotta save up for next semester."
"Well, that's very grown up of you," Lynn remarked. She didn't know why she was being so sarcastic.
Adam turned away and headed out of the office.
Lynn frowned as she thought. She should have just turned around, forgot about swimming that night, and left. Instead, she shrugged and said, "Well, I'm just going for a quick swim then I'm heading home. I think you should leave then, as well."
"Yeah, sure. Whatever," he answered, "I'll just go empty out the waste bins."
Adam turned a corner. Lynn listened to his footsteps fade down the corridor. Hesitating for a moment, she made her way to the change rooms.
Quickly peeling out of her damp running gear and slipping into her swimsuit, she walked out to the pool. As she entered the indoor pool area she immediately noticed Adam seated by the poolside, reading his magazine.
"What are you doing?" she asked sternly.
Adam looked up and pointed to a sign on the wall behind her head. Lynn turned to read the pool safety regulations.
"No unattended swimming allowed," he said, "So I'm attending."
Lynn grimaced. "That's not necessary."
"Don't want to get into trouble with my supervisor," he replied. He said it with a poker-face which just served to wind up Lynn even more.
"Adam...," Lynn sighed, pushing her fingers through her perspiration dampened hair. She really didn't have the energy for this and just wanted to get into the pool already.
Adam chuckled, "Look, I'm just sitting here doing my job. I'm not going to do anything stupid."
Lynn smirked, "Yes, we had a conversation about being stupeed earlier, didn't we? You didn't seem to be so adverse to it then."
He sat back in the chair, casually folding his fingers together on his tummy. "Okay, so are you going to swim or not, then?" he cajoled, "I'm getting paid either way."
She eyed him then finally dropped her towel.
Adam watched as she stepped around to one end of the pool, discreetly adjusting the bottom of her swimsuit with her back to him. Then, without a word, she dove in and began to swim the length of the pool. She did 4 laps.
When she made her final turn and came back, she saw Adam waiting, crouched down at the end of her swimming lane. She swam up to the edge and stopped. Clearing the water from her eyes and mouth and nose, she asked, "What is it?"
"Your form is a bit loose," Adam offered as he looked down over her, "You're splashing around a lot. You should tighten up your arm strokes and set a rhythm for your breaths."
"Oh, should I? Thanks a lot for the advice 'Michael Phelps'," she replied sarcastically, "I just ran for over an hour before this, you know!"
"Yeah, well, I guess you get slower as you get older," he teased.
Lynn glared at him. She knew he was deliberately trying to crank her.
"Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. First the legs, then the eyesight," Adam continued, rolling his eyes around the ceiling. "Then the memory goes and your breasts sag to your belly-button. Mon Dieu, how do you manage, Lynn?"
"You...," Lynn growled then caught herself. More calmly she said, "How about you come in here and show me?"
"Well, it is my job, n'est pas
?" he said, grinning. "And I do my job so very well, don't you think?"
There was a piercing gleam in Lynn's small, dark eyes. She reached up and grabbed his collar.
He angled his brow. "Ah, so you finally want to get back at me for the dousing you got a year ago?" he said, "Try it."
Lynn stared back at him. He was asking for it. She couldn't help but smile at the thought of doing so. It must have been obvious to him how precarious his position was, yet he didn't move. Crouching there on the edge, she could tell that he wanted her to pull him into the pool, just yank him in then dunk him. That realization troubled her if only because, if she were truthful to herself, it excited her so damn much.
After a long moment, she released his collar. Slowly, silently, she waded back, away from the edge, away from Adam but always keeping her eyes on him.
"So you know a lot about swimming," she said, shrugging, "I thought boys your age only had one thing on your mind."
Adam rose to his feet and stood at the edge of the pool. "I think it's more like 99% of the time," he conceded, "We need the other 1% to maintain the basic daily functions and activities."
"That's really deep," Lynn scoffed, "Did you also learn that from your magazines?"
Adam pouted his lower lip and nodded thoughtfully. "Among other things...but then there are some things you can only learn first hand," he said, "Ce n'est pas à un vieux singe qu'on apprend à faire la grimace
"Yeah, that's way too much French for me to handle," Lynn conceded.
"There is no substitute for experience," Adam said.
Still treading water, Lynn thought about her next words carefully. Despite herself, she asked, "And you've had a lot of first hand...experience, have you?"
He shrugged. "I don't know, maybe," he replied, "Still a young guy. Still lots I definitely want to try."
Lynn's heart noticeably began to beat faster.
"How about you? Ever felt like experimenting a bit, Lynn?"
Lynn's quietly drifted in the water. She could feel the awkward silence between them as he continued to stand at the edge of the pool, watching her, calm and cool.
Still she watched him silently as he pulled up the bottom of his shirt over his head and tossed it aside. As he kicked off his shoes, he undid the button of his shorts and dropped them to the floor around his ankles.
She was relieved to see that he was wearing his trunks underneath. It would have been preferable if they weren't narrow Speedos, though.
Without a word, his lean, sleek and muscular figure arched forward and slipped into the pool. He swam a large circle around her and then stopped a few feet away from her floating along in the water as easily as if he was rocking in a hammock.
Lynn didn't know if she should object to him being in the pool with her. She really had no good reason to do so. She wasn't even sure if she wanted him to get out. Suddenly, t he undeniably illicit thought that unexpectedly crossed her mind was more than enough to set off her alarms.
Adam's eyes were cool and unmoving as he silently treaded water before her.
"Adam..." Lynn started to say. She paused, unsure of what she wanted to follow that up with.
During that brief second, Adam slid under the water again and swam swiftly past her. Lynn turned to watch him as he swam the length of the pool, gliding in the water with sharp, cutting strokes. Despite the moment or how she felt, seeing him in his element reminded her of how much she admired someone who was so good at their craft. Adam was talented and powerfully graceful in the water, she couldn't deny that. She imagined what he would be like if he exerted even half that concentration and raw passion in other activities.
Adam angled smoothly into a flip-turn and pushed off the wall, then made his return back past Lynn and to the other end of the pool.
Still she continued to watch him as he pulled himself from the water. Her brows raised slightly when she caught a glimpse of the top of his pale butt cheeks and the crack between them, the water pulling down his trunks as he climbed out of the pool. She quickly looked away as he stood and turned.
"Get any ideas while watching me?" Adam asked.
Lynn turned, a startled look on her face. "Wh-what?"
Adam ran his fingers through his wet hair and wiped down his face with his palms. He nodded and said, "While I was swimming. Saw how you can improve your technique?"
She frowned, shaking her head. He was toying with her, innuendo weaving through each of his words. She was certain of it. Worse was the difficulty to restrain herself from giving him an impulsive response to his invitation.
Instead, she turned and swam down to the other end of the pool. She climbed out and made her way to the change room with a quick-step, her wet feet slapping loudly on the tiles.
"I'm done," she said, barely able to glance back at the young man, "I'm going to take a shower, then we can leave, alright?"
"Don't you want your towel?" he asked at the other end of the pool.
"I'll get another one from the change room." She had to getaway from Adam. Now.
She didn't hear Adam's reply as she slipped through the door, letting it close behind her as she headed straight for the showers.
* * * * * * * 15 Months Ago...
"Where's Adam?" Lynn asked, looking around the centre's staff room.
Several of the staff shrugged or shook their heads. "Haven't seen him," somebody replied.
"He was supposed to be on shift 30 minutes ago and he's not answering his phone," Lynn said.
Just then, the door swung open behind her and Adam stomped past her towards his locker.
Lynn tilted her head. "So that's it. You just say his name and he magically appears," she said half-jokingly.
Adam didn't respond. His back to her, he pushed open his locker and threw his belongings in with a loud clatter. The other staff stepped back a little as they watched him simmering.
Lynn crossed her arms and smirked behind him as he slammed his locker shut.
Adam stomped back towards the staff room exit.
"Wait," Lynn sighed.
He continued to march forward. Just as he was passing Lynn, though, she grabbed him by the arm.
"I said wait," she repeated.
He scowled at her, his eyebrows practically pinching together. "I'm late for my shift," he replied with a surly growl.
"Yes...yes, you are," Lynn said looking up at him with an easy, frank expression, "And you're going to be a little bit more late. Nadia, go relieve whomever is waiting for Adam at the pool."
Still holding onto his arm, she led Adam out the back door of the office. Once outside, Lynn stopped and looked around. Adam stared at her as she still clutched his arm.
"What are we..." he started to say.
"Shh. Come," she said, not looking at him. She dragged him down the walkway around the side of the building.
He was about to try to ask his question again when he bumped into Lynn's back as she suddenly stopped.
"There it is!" Lynn proclaimed, staring ahead and beaming a smile, "Isn't it a beauty?"
Adam frowned. He glimpsed the old, beaten up, chipped-paint blue, electric grounds-keeping cart parked on the delivery driveway. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the look on the woman's face indicated.
Adam was cut off even faster this time as Lynn yanked him by the arm. They marched towards the cart.
"Have a seat, big guy," Lynn said, "I'll take the wheel. You ride shotgun."
Adam stood there, a sour and confused look on his face, while Lynn slipped into the driver's seat. Holding the wheel, she looked at him and tilted her head, shaking it slightly. "I'm not asking you again," she said, a mix of tease and command in her voice.
With a heavy sigh, Adam reluctantly climbed in beside her. She pushed the pedal to the floor just before his butt touched the seat.
Lynn immediately took them off the road and onto the centre's field. The poor suspension in the utility vehicle made up for the reserved speed, accentuating every bump and making each turn rather precarious.
Bracing himself with one hand beside him on his seat and the other holding onto the panel in front of him, Adam turned and glared at Lynn. Her mouth was spread open into a wide smile, her eyes narrowed with a sparkling glee. She managed to get the vehicle up to a decent enough speed to flutter her shoulder-length black hair.
For several minutes, they careened wildly along the field, Lynn making sad attempts at "donuts", before heading off to the far end where the grass met up with a bordering ravine. Lynn pulled the vehicle around into the shade of a large weeping willow and stopped.
Lynn breathed a long, joyful laugh. Clapping her hands, she giggled, "That rocked! I always wanted to try that!"
His face still contorting like there was a blender twisting it from behind, Adam slouched down into his seat.
Lynn looked at him and sighed, "Well, that was a waste on you, wasn't it?” She fixed her hair then said, “Alright, spill."
Adam's face hanging low, his lower lip pouting outward, he stayed slumped in his chair looking at his hands silently.
"Nicotine withdrawal? Dirty underwear? Your time of the month?" Lynn goaded, "What is it?"
The surly young man turned away, mumbling something in French.
Lynn said something back.
Adam frowned and looked at her. "What?"
"I just cursed you in Mandarin," she smirked back at him, narrowing her eyes and shrugging. She settled back into her seat, put her hands back behind her head, and kicked her legs up, stretching them over the dash of the little cart. "Hey, we can do this U.N. style if you want."
Something about her demeanour...and owing maybe more to the way her toned, tanned, bare legs were stretched out beside him...managed to soften his harsh, pouting glare somewhat. His surly attitude wasn't doing much in the way of breaking her down anyway. She just kept grinning at him.
Adam shook his head, looking away.
"You've been kind of sulky for the past couple of weeks," Lynn said thoughtfully, "Don't you just want to let out some steam?"
Reluctantly, Adam reached into the pocket of his cargo shorts and pulled out a scrunched up sheet of paper. He held it out to her dismissively.
Lynn took the piece of paper and looked at it for a moment. It was a letter in French but she felt she got the gist of it.
"You were accepted into the University of Moncton?" she asked.
Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Adam nodded.
"That's a good thing, isn't it?"
"Yeah, but my parents won't let me go," he grumbled, "They're making me stay at U of T."
"They don't want me living outside of Toronto," he said.
"Ah. I get it." Lynn nodded and added, "So you think throwing a hissy fit is going to convince them that you're mature enough to live away from home?"
Adam frowned and grumbled, shaking his head.
Lynn sighed and folded up the letter. "Look, Adam," she said, " I think your parents might be right.”
He gave her the evil eye.
Lynn eased back a bit. “I mean I think I understand where they're coming from. There are times when you demonstrate a sense of maturity that really is beyond your age and your peers. I don't know where that comes from, to be honest. You've got this way about you...”
“ Oh yeah?” Adam asked, suddenly more attentive, “What way?”
Lynn hesitated. She waved dismissively and sighed, “An odd and unpredictable way. You're a bit of a scoundrel.”
Something sparked in Adam's thoughts. He frowned and said, “What did you say? I'm a what?”
“ A scoundrel,” Lynn repeated. She explained, “It's a guy who has a bit of a mischievous wicked streak about him.”
“ I know what it is,” Adam pointed out. A hinting smile curled onto his lips along with a brief glint in his eye. Lynn saw it. It made her even more curious but she decided to file the thought away for now.
“ Then there are times when you just behave like a jack ass,” Lynn continued, putting it bluntly.
Adam smirked and rocked back and forth in his seat as if nodding his whole upper body.
“ Not your fault, though,” Lynn added, “You're 17...”
“ At that age where you're still exploring boundaries and such,” Lynn said, “Still trying to figure things out. You're going to make mistakes.”
“ Sounds like you're talking from experience,” Adam noted.
She smiled. “Let's just say the way you are and the way your parents are react ing are not unfamiliar to me,” she said with a chuckle, “And look how I turned out. Not bad, huh?”
Adam sat silent, thinking.
“ I think your parents are just setting an arbitrary time based on what they see of you now,” Lynn went on, nudging him on the arm, “Who knows, if you keep throwing tantrums like this, they may not let you out of their sights until you're 50."
Adam remained quiet . She could tell he wasn't fuming as much now.
"So you go to school in Toronto for a little while longer," Lynn continued, "You show them that mature side I see in you...sometimes. Maybe they let you go next year. Joking aside, they can't keep you at home for your entire life. Just...grow up a bit more first. Become that good man I can see in you."
Adam raised his head. It was like an angry-mask had been lifted off of his face, all the scowling bluster expended.
"Besides, if you stay in Toronto, you can continue working here. That's not so bad is it? You've got your friends and decent pay," she said with a playful voice.
"Are you accepting that job at the Centennial Community Centre?" Adam suddenly asked as he looked toward her.
Lynn leaned withdrew her legs from the dashboard and leaned to the side, away from him. "How did you know about that?" she said.
For a moment, Lynn simply looked into his gazing blue eyes. He wanted an answer.
"I...no," she finally said, "They...decided to go with someone else."
Her lips folded in on themselves as she held her breath. She had actually been offered the position at the new centre but had turned it down. She didn't know why she felt compelled to lie to Adam about it. Maybe she was unsure of what to say to him if he asked her why she turned down the position. More troubling, she didn't know if he knew she was lying.
“ Are you going to still try to leave here eventually?” Adam asked.
Lynn frowned. “I...I don't know,” she replied, shifting in her seat.
“ Will you stay, then?”
She shrugged. “It's not like I really want to leave here.”
“ But wasn't the Centennial position the same as the one you're doing now?”
Lynn fidgeted with the hairs on the back of her neck. “Yes, but...” she started, “You know, I don't think I want to be stuck working in community centres all my life.”
“ You actually turned down the job, didn't you?” he said.
Lynn stared at him, dragging her teeth together. “No,” she said simply, then looked off into the distance.
Adam tilted his chin a little as he watched her. He simply nodded and looked out over in front of the cart once more. "Guess we're stuck with each other, then." he chuckled.
Feeling a bit relieved that they got back on topic , Lynn nodded and said, "Speaking for myself, I happen to think that's not such a bad thing. I can keep a closer eye on you."
Adam muttered, "How close?"
"Close. I like to torture myself."
Lynn rolled her eyes upward towards the overhanging branches of the willow and groaned, "Yes, I don't know what's wrong with me, but I like having you around. You're like a puppy chasing its tail forever, a little annoying, a little cute. Plus you know where to get the best maple syrup candies."
. It's one of the many talents of us Quebecois." Adam replied, his playful, suave charm returning once more, "Just doing my best to please my master."
She turned and offered him a long, contemplative gaze, her chin pressing against her raised shoulder. Pausing for a moment, she said, "That would be nice."
After looking back at her, to see the sincerity in her pretty face and hear it in her gentle voice, Adam's trademark crooked grin and arched brow suddenly returned. Through his teeth he joked, "You just like keeping me here to order me around."
Lynn nodded, a little twinkle in her dark brown eyes. She reached towards him and nonchalantly pulled away a leaf that had fallen in his hair and then brushed away his long, light brown bangs that had fallen over his eyes. She smiled. "You know me so well,” she said. After a thoughtful pause, she added, “Now, get your butt to the pool."
Adam leaned back in his seat, draping his long arm around the back of Lynn's chair. "Maybe we can just take this puppy to Mexico," he joked.
"Mmm...I just might do that," she said, "But you have work to do, so get out."
"What, you're not going to take me back?"
Taking the wheel again, she replied, "Thought I'd just go once more around the track."
Adam heaved himself up from the chair. Standing beside the vehicle, he tossed her a limp salute. He back-skipped away from her, hands back in his pockets. "I like the way you say the word 'butt'," he said with a sharp grin, "And I like yours, too."
"I know. It's nice isn't it?" Lynn quipped.
She started up the cart and then made a wide circle to turn it around.
“ So when are you going to tell me what you really want to do in your life, Lynn?” he asked as she passed him.
Lynn simply drove by . Without looking back, she called to him, "I'm docking you 45 minutes from your pay."
Adam had to chuckle as she pulled ahead, watching her with a refocused eye.
* * * * * * * * Now....
Adam went around in the silence of the centre's office emptying the wastebaskets. He paused each time he tipped one over into the collection bin, staring off into empty corners of the room.
He thought about his conversation with Lynn at the pool a few minutes before. He had gotten to her, he could tell. The thing was, it had been just as difficult for him to remain calm during the exchange. His hands, which he had kept stuffed in his pockets while they talked, had been clenched tight from the tingling nerves coursing through his body. There was a fire in his belly, and his heart had been pounding against his chest as he found his words through a jumble of excited thoughts rumbling in his head. He had been hoping that quick swim would have taken that edge of f but it took everything he had to not to make a move on Lynn in the pool.
It unnerved him, those thoughts, those feelings. He was so close. He didn't even recall when it had turned from a schoolboy crush to genuine infatuation. After two years of mild interest, building to genuine curiosity then illicit, explicit fantasizing, it was now a full-blown sense of desire which he could barely control. His youthful blood and drive surged within him, emboldened him. Even more enticing was the feeling that she was responding to him. She was resisting, but she was undeniably tempted. He knew it. The thought was more intoxicating than any liquor or drug.
It was a type of pressure that weighed on him heavier than school or family or friends. He remembered someone once tell him that when it came to handling pressure, you could either let it get to you or you could focus it, seize the moment, and let it spur you on to greater experiences.
He froze, still holding a wastebasket, looking out through the office door, seeing in his mind's eye through walls of the building. A stern, dogged expression settled on his face as he tried to steady himself with deep breaths.
For him, in the three years that he had known her, Lynn had gone from unthinkable, to attractive, to desirable, to unattainable, and now...
So close .
" C'est le moment ou jamais,
" he muttered determinedly.
The wastebasket had barely stopped rattling on the floor as Adam made his way out the office door. To be continued...
Thank you again for taking the time to read my story. It's a long one! Next part should come out after the weekend. Please leave a comment and say hi if you have the time! F.P.R.
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