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Shooting Stars; Beating Hearts

 
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Penny Escobar
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Young Wyrm
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Joined: 07 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:09 pm    Post subject: Shooting Stars; Beating Hearts Reply with quote

June 27, in the afternoon

My cheeks were starting to ache from smiling so much, but I couldn’t help myself. As I continued down the street, I skipped over a cracked section of the walkway, then spun around to avoid bumping into someone passing me by and continued with a bit of a laugh. A stranger’s glance my way was met with what I assumed was a crazy grin by their expression, so I slowed my pace to check my reflection in a storefront window.

I lifted a hand to poke at the muscles of my face, attempting to smooth out the features and hide my smile, but I just couldn’t. I fought to hold back a giggle, but it came out anyway, and I shook my head to myself as I cleared my throat and continued for the Inn. Maybe I needed a beer and some grass to mellow out and relax, or one of those drinks with the umbrella and cherries floating in them.

I just knew that every fiber of my being was buzzing and jittery and it made me feel more alive than I’d felt in a very long time. I could hardly believe my morning. Who would have thought Patrick Richie of all people would have showed up at my doorstep to remind me the joys of having dessert for breakfast? With a slow lick of my lips, I could still taste cookies and cream on them.

Speaking of, I spotted that same connoisseur of sugar finishing up a run and landing on the porch’s steps. I enjoyed the view and my timing, but the buzzing thrum in my veins couldn’t stop me from closing in on him as he caught his breath. Stars and Stones Penny, don’t throw yourself at him again so soon. Let him catch his breath. I sat down next to him on the steps and hoped my voice didn’t come out too high and sing-songy, I really hated that.

“Working off a bunch of excess energy?†I asked.

I stopped myself from touching him, but only when I realized that I felt jittery and even a bit nervous. Play it cool Penny, he’s not going run away from you. This isn’t going to be awkward just because you two slept together. It was just a bit of much needed fun and –Oh he’s talking, you should be listening.

“--- It’s hot out here. Should have gone for my run when it was fifteen degrees cooler.â€

He smiled, and I tried to not let the memory of this morning play out on my face. I hoped it was working.

“How’s it going?†I thought I heard him ask.

“I mean you obviously had better things to do,†I nearly giggled again. “I’m impressed by your stamina though, a part of me didn’t want to do anything after this morning. But then, I don’t know, I feel like I have so much energy too at the same time. Maybe it was all that sugar.†I was prattling on, which I felt was a sure sign that I could blame the anxious fluttering of my stomach and heart on eating gods know how much ice cream. Least you spent a fair amount of time working it off, amiright Penny? STOP. Is he staring at me like I’m a fool? This is why you’re single Penny.

“Don’t tell me Sunglasses Guy beat me to the punch,†I heard him tease as he gestured towards my neck. “You’ve got …um.â€

A giggle almost slipped out past my fist as my knuckles pressed against my lips. “I know, I was surprised by it too. But then there was something said about no rules saying you couldn’t have dessert for breakfast, and I just couldn’t argue with that logic.†Hard to argue with the guy who shows up to give you breakfast in bed. And the way he tried to lead me out the door with a spoon that was the proverbial carrot.

When he pointed out that I still had some on my neck, I felt sheepish and ducked my head as I blindly reached for where I hoped the spot was. “Oh, really? Man, it really got everywhere. Which I guess isn’t really that much of a surprise considering…†When I giggled audible this time, I immediately tried to change the subject while trying to clean my neck with my hand. “How’d you manage? Or did the run help?â€

There was a sudden crack in his expression, the boyish charm that made me forget who and where I was wrinkled as he started to look confused. “How’d I manage what?†Trick asked.

Maybe he was in the makings of a sugar coma, and his brain was working through a fog I decided. “To avoid getting sticky or not find random bits of Oreo crushed into your skin. I mean, I probably haven’t ever had that much fun in my whole life, but stars and stones was it messy. Or maybe you have some still on you too?†I leaned into his personal bubble of space, with a small voice in the back of my head reminding me Peninnah don’t jump him on the front porch of the Inn for the whole world to see.!

Then it became my turn to be confused. It was brief, but I saw it plan as day, I hurt him somehow. Was it something I said? This was too fast? You should reel it in Penny, you’re in public, that’s obviously what—

“I… have no idea what you’re talking about. Uhm.†He scratched at the back of his head and continued, “I haven’t seen you since last week.â€

“Good messy, fun messy. Not bad—†I stammered as I tried to fix this and fast, only to suddenly stare at him in complete and total confusion. I could feel my eyes widening the longer I looked at him and there was now a very loud rattling of my heart in my ribs. This is a bad time to have a panic attack.

“What?†I managed to get out of my mouth while inching away from him. Shaking my head, I tried to make sense of this, did he not remember? “No…. You showed up to my place, this morning. With a blow up pool full of cookies and cream ice cream.†Which was ridiculously over the top and adorable and for some reason seemed so perfect and magical…

“Right?†I asked.

Please, please remember this. Don’t tell me that I’ve now added sexual delusions to my hallucinations.

“Well ****,†he said. “Not quite sure how I’ll top a blow-up pool full of ice cream.â€

No. No no no no no. I can’t breathe. I can’t. I can’t.

After a brief pause he asked, “You thought it was me?â€

“Ice cream in giant scoops the size of basketballs just like I had dreamed it….†I heard myself murmur until I couldn’t say anything more. The nervous buzz of energy that I’d walked up with sizzled out and left me feeling cold and almost numb. While that might have been better than the panicked rattle of my pulse or being unable to breathe seconds ago, I immediately drew into myself as the complete and total mortification washed over me.

It wasn’t real.

Belatedly I found my voice and could hear it come out meek and lighter than I was known for. “Well….yeah? I know it wasn’t a glamour but…†I thought it was really you and not a dream. My cheeks felt hotter the longer he stared at me. “I believed it was you. Just…. a little more forward than you’ve been.†Maybe I should just throw up a veil and run home now. Or run to the bathroom because I’m certain that I’m about to hurl all that imagined ice cream in ten seconds.

I don’t remember him moving closer, but he drew in with a hand on my knee and made me forget any desire to run away. I think my new favorite color is blue-grey, the shade of his eyes.

“Does it bother you that I’m not forward?†I heard him ask.

“No,†I shook my head and kept my voice lowered while I tried to relax just a little. “No, no not at all. I like when you’re confident and sure of yourself. Which to me, is different than that. Being forward. Is that different than being bold you think? I don’t know.†I had no idea what I was saying, I was still trying to shake the embarrassment that I had convinced myself that a dream was real and was starting to question all of reality. Even if I should have known better. “I don’t know what I was trying to say.†And I wouldn’t mind going to go find a hole to crawl into right about now.

I changed my mind when he squeezed my knee, smiled and brushed a bit of hair over my shoulder. His fingertips felt both feather light and like small jolts of electricity, and I hoped he didn’t notice the way my flesh prickled with goose skin.

“I’m not forward,†he reminded me. “I probably never will be. It’s not my style. But I am sure I’m pretty damn jealous someone other than me got to have dessert for breakfast this morning…â€

“I know,†I started to interject. “And it’s--

†…and that if I don’t kiss you know, I’d be an idiot.â€

His hand lifted from my knee to my chin, and my brain was still processing what he was saying before I realized that he (or at least I was pretty sure this was real, maybe) was kissing me.

And all I could think of was that he tasted so sweet.

You’re about to get so many cavities here girl.

Which soon caused me to laugh while our fingers tangled and then rested back on my knee.

He laughed with me though I was pretty sure I hadn’t said that out loud, thankfully. “Okay, but seriously, I don’t think I can top an ice cream pool.â€

Still laughing, I bowed my head to mildly hid the embarrassment which was starting to slowly fade away. “No, and I don’t know that you really should. I don’t know that I could stomach ice cream in general for a while. It was a bit over the top.†I was pretty sure I would turn green at the sight of ice cream for a while now to be honest. “Something smaller I think. Maybe not even fist sized.†Because you’ll give me a tooth ache just being you.

“Maybe dinner first. Something savory to balance out all the sugar?†He glanced down at himself, and I helped myself to a look too. “I need a shower first. This isn’t exactly dinner date attire.â€

“Yeah, I’d like that.†Nodding as I forced myself to tear my eyes off him and remembered where we were and what day it was. Damn favors and Wizard promises. “But if you’re asking me to dinner tonight, I’m going to have to reschedule. Mai’s calling in a favor and we’re going out of town. Just a day or two though,†so I hoped. Maybe it’ll be enough time to overcome my embarrassment though. I stretched my legs, hoping I wouldn’t wobble when I finally stood. I was mildly certain that they were on their way to jello and I hadn’t even been running. “Dinner when I get back though?†Hopeful as I looked over to him.

“When you get back,†he agreed, smiling. “Text me when you’re free and we’ll go anywhere you want. By then your sweet tooth should be back and we can try a more low-key celebration.†He laughed and offered me a hand, which I was more than happy to take.

“Anywhere I want huh?†Ready to toss out some sort of tease, but instead when I got to my feet I lingered in his personal space, taking in the scent of him, listening for his heartbeat over mine. “This happened right?†I wasn’t hallucinating right? Because I’m aware that I do that, but don’t mention that to him yet Penny. Just pinch yourself and ---

“Ow, fff…. yeah okay. Real.†That was going to leave a bruise on my forearm for a day or two.

“I could always kiss you again to be positive.â€

Whoa ho ohhhh. Smooth there Mister Richie. But I have to leave you wanting moreven when I want to stay.

Shaking out my arm, I stepped backwards and away from him. “Ah, no see that makes me think it is a dream.†Winking while I was sure my grin was wide enough to show most of my teeth, “I’ll let you know when I get back in town.†Or maybe as soon as Mai starts driving us back and I can figure out how to text without her assistance or telling me what to send.

I started off, but heard him behind me, “Sounds like a nice dream to me. See you soon.â€

Yeah, I thought to myself as my fingers touched at my lips. It is a nice dream.
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