"What are you doing?" Tommy asked as Gina directed her Escort to the shoulder of the road.
"Pulling over. What does it look like?" she asked. She put the car in park and shifted around in the car to look at him.
"Why?" he asked, suspiciously. "I thought we were going back to your place."
"We are," she told him, leaning toward him to plant a soft kiss on his cheek.
"Well, why are we on the side of the road? Get to driving, woman!" He laughed softly when she punched him in the arm.
"I've told you about that 'woman' stuff!" she reminded him.
"C'mon, Gina," he whined. "What are we doing here?"
"You know what we're doing. It's time for a little practice session."
"Aw," he moaned, "but I don't wanna. Do I really have to? Wouldn't it be bad if I did it and I really didn't want to?"
"Come on, you big baby! Get out of the passenger seat and get over here. You can do it," she encouraged him.
Tommy shook his head and reached for her hand. He lightly ran his thumb on the tender flesh of her palm as his green eyes held hers. His voice was soft and a tad seductive as he began to coax her. "But, Gina, it would take us forever to get there if I drove. Just this one time, couldn't you drive there? I'll drive on the way back." He leaned in to kiss her. She accepted his full lips without hesitation, but when he moved to deepen the kiss, she bit his lower lip. "Ow!" he said, raising his finger to his lip to check for bleeding.
"That's what you get for trying to sway me like that!" she said. "Besides, that's what you said the last time. Your test is coming up soon, so the more practice you get, the better."
"Who said I even wanted to drive?" he grumbled as he wrenched open the passenger door and stormed to the other side of the car. He ignored Gina's smiling face as he plopped down into the seat she had recently vacated. When she placed her hand on his thigh, his first inclination was to swat it away, but the longer it stayed there, the more he realized that he liked the sensation. He'd let her keep her hand there…this time.
"Okay. What do I do?" he asked, his arms folded across his chest.
"You know what to do. You put the car in drive…you put your foot on the gas…you steer the wheel…" She laughed softly when he paused during her instruction to glare at her.
"You think this is so funny, don't you?"
"Yeah. A little bit," she admitted.
"Well, if you're getting a laugh out of this, I want my fair share," he said, putting the car back into park.
"And what would that be?" she asked, watching him as he turned to face her.
"This!" he told her. He cupped her face between his two hands and pulled her to him. He found her lips soft, sweet and succulent. He dined on the feast her lips and tongue offered him. After a few timeless minutes of passion, he lifted his head from hers, and with shallow breath, he said, "Now, that's better. I'm ready to go now."
"If either one of them comes back in here, I'm leaving," Jordan warned Emily as Reginald closed the den doors to a two-inch crack behind him.
"They won't," she told him. She rose from the loveseat where they were sitting together to go to the doors. She closed the doors and turned the lock. "There," she said, moving back to the loveseat, "no more interruptions from Grandfather, Reginald, or anyone."
"What do they think is gonna happen to you with me in here? Do they think I'm planning to ravish you?" he muttered as she reclaimed her seat next to him.
"Ravish?" Emily repeated, laughing. "Where do you come up with that stuff?"
"Jamilah," he laughed. "She's really into those romance novels. She wrote a few pages and made me read them."
"And, she actually used *that* word?" Emily asked, snuggling next to Jordan as he wrapped his arms around her.
"Yeah, she did, but other than that, the story was pretty good. I told her to keep going," he replied as he beamed with the confidence he had in his cousin.
"So...um…what else was in that story?" Emily asked.
"Uh huh," Jordan whispered softly. "I learned a few things from dear old cuz, and who knows when they may come in handy? I may have to bring to life some of things she wrote about." He kissed her forehead, and when she raised her lips to his, he kissed her mouth.
They enjoyed an intimate, physical relationship, but not too intimate. Jordan cared for Emily, and he still had a misgiving or two about her family's over-protectiveness, not to mention, their wealth. He didn't come from a wealthy family. His parents worked hard to provide him and his younger sister, Camille with the things they needed and with some of the things they wanted.
He admired his parents, Ray and Maria. He loved them for always being supportive and for the sacrifices they'd made to help him with his music. The sacrifices had been few, but they'd been enough that Jordan would never forget them, and that was why his music and being with DJLS and rising to the top was so important to him. He had to…no. He wanted to make it so that his parents would never have to work an extra shift or miss a holiday to make sure that the mortgage was covered or that some special toy Camille wanted would be bought. No, he wanted them to sit back and rest when the time came when he could provide for them, and he would be damned if he let someone as petty and selfish as Robin Scorpio mess that up!
"Jordan? What's wrong?" Emily asked as Jordan abruptly pulled away from her and rose from the loveseat. His crisp white shirt was stretched taut across his back as he shoved his hands into his front pockets. His back was to her, and she wondered if she should go to him, or wait. "Jordan?"
"It's Robin, Em!" he said. He grabbed the poker and began to hit at the logs, watching as the embers flickered.
"What about her?" she asked. She decided to take a chance and go to him. She wrapped her arm around his waist and leaned against him. Soon, his arm went around her shoulder as he held her to him.
"She's trying to mess things up for us," he said. "That crap with the video! We *told* her that we didn't want it in there. We even told her why. She acted like she agreed with us and that little witch turned around and did it anyway. Damn!"
"Jordan, she's my friend. You don't have to call her names."
"I'm sorry, Em, but, yes, I do. In fact, she gives folks like Samantha*, Sabrina** and even Endora,* a bad name. She's worse than a witch. She's a…she's a…a nasty, lowdown, rotten… That's it! She's rotten! Rotten Robin***! That's what she is!"
"Come on, Jay! Aren't you taking this a little too far? I think the kiss was pretty good. It made the video have a happy ending," she said, taking his hand and leading him back to the loveseat where they could begin another snuggling session.
"No," he shook his head. He laced his fingers with Emily's as he continued. "The video had a happy ending, but what about Lucky and Dawn? What about Liz and Nikolas?"
"Well, maybe Lucky and Dawn should have thought about that-"
"Thought about what? They should have planned for Rotten Robin to convince Ivan to switch the endings? Come on, Em. What happened tonight was not their fault."
"Well, why is all of the blame given to Robin? They didn't have to kiss-"
"Oh, so you think we have *that* much say?"
"Well, you just said that you told her that you didn't want it in the video," she reminded him.
"We did tell her, but that doesn't mean we had control over every little aspect. Do you really think Sly wanted to dance? He hates dancing, but Ivan wanted it in there, so he had to do it," he said. A sudden thought came to him and he added, "Look, Emmie, this stays between you and me, okay?"
"Of course!" she said, frowning at him. "I can't believe you even said that!"
"I'm sorry, but I wanted to make sure, you know," he said. Keeping their hands entwined, he shifted on the loveseat to face her. "After we saw the video with the kiss as the ending, Sly and I started talking about some things. We weren't there the day the video was shot, so we don't know the ins and outs of it, but we do know how they reacted to seeing themselves kiss."
"How did they react?" Emily asked, interested.
"They were uncomfortable, and I mean *really* uncomfortable."
"Do you think they…have feelings for each other?"
"Maybe," he admitted, "but I'm not sure. They give each other a hard time, but we all take turns doing that. It's just that…well, maybe they're a little attracted to each other. Sly and I joked about it behind their backs a little bit, but we didn't know how true our kidding around was until we saw the video. And, we realized that if we could see, so could others."
"So, they're our friends, all four of them, and we didn't want something as stupid as a video to mess things up for them. Dawn and Nikolas are perfect together. She makes him seem human and not like some noble prince-"
"He was always human. Few people ever took the time to realize that," Emily said, stiffening slightly.
"That may be true," Jordan said, releasing her hand as she pulled away from him, "but he never made that much of an effort to let people in on the secret. I know he's your friend and you guys are tight, but from where I stand, he seemed to distance himself. It's his prerogative to do whatever, but all I know is if Dawn hadn't come along, I never would have known that he's cool. Now, are you still mad at me, or what?" he asked, folding his arms across his chest as he looked at her.
"I'm not mad," she pouted. "It's just that Dawn didn't create Nikolas. He existed long before she ever came to town-"
"Wait a minute. We're still on that? Are *you* interested in him? You are, aren't you? Wow, I bet Rotten Robin didn't know she had competition!" He rose to stand. "Well, let me get the hell out of here so you two can plot your next scheme."
"Jordan, wait!" Emily called as he Jordan rushed towards the door. She moved to block his path. Her back rested against the double doors as she looked at him.
"Em…" he warned.
She placed her hands on his chest. She could feel the rapid beating of his heart. Excitement coursed through her veins as his heart pumped underneath the palm of her hand. The heat of desire radiated from her hand and pulsed throughout her. She'd never felt so connected with a person.
"Emily…?" Jordan repeated. His voice had become husky as she lightly caressed his chest. She was driving him insane and there was still that matter of how she felt about Nikolas. He grabbed her hands and pulled them away from him. "I'd better go," he said.
"No, Jordan. Please, don't. Not, yet. I need to tell you about Nikolas."
"What about him?" he asked, forcing himself to look into her eyes.
"I had a crush on him. I thought he was wonderful. Well, he is, but he's not for me. Seeing him with Dawn helped me to realize that."
"Well, that's good, Em. I gotta go," he said, reaching past her for the doorknob.
"No, wait," she said, covering his hand with her own.
"He's my friend and I'll always care about him, but he's not the one I want to be with, Jordan. You're the one for me. Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you?" she asked.
Jordan took a step back as the sound of her heartfelt confession. Was she saying that she loved him? How was he supposed to respond to that? Should he tell her how he felt, too, or should he feign ignorance? What was he supposed to do?
"Jordan?" she asked, becoming afraid that she'd said too much.
"I… I heard you," he stammered. He grasped both of her hands and looked at them as he tried to find the words to answer her. "I…I think I know what you're saying, and I feel it, too…"
"But?" she asked when he stopped speaking.
"But, I want us to take our time with it. I don't want to rush this, baby. I'm only seventeen. You're almost sixteen. We have plenty of time to know for sure if what we feel right now is how we'll always feel," he said the words slowly, hoping she understood him. "You do know what I mean, right? Emmie, I want this to work between us. I really, really do, but it's gonna take a lot of hard work. I'm not afraid of hard work when it comes to something or someone who means a lot to me, and you have to know that you mean…so much to me, but with our families being so different…we're gonna have to be pretty damn sure that we're strong enough to go the distance with them."
"I understand," she said, softly, "and I agree. I know that when the time comes, we'll be able to take on our families and win. But, in the mean time, we'll go slowly. Agreed?"
"Agreed," he sighed. He pulled her to him and together, they sealed their pledge with a deep, sensual kiss.