When we left off, our heroine (dressed in a floor-length, burgundy ball gown with chiffon top -layer, beaded empire waist, and spaghetti straps) was walking out the door of a man's house, on the arm of said man, who was dressed in a tuxedo. The man was not the horoine's boyfriend.
Our heroine's boyfriend was at home, repairing the brakes on his bicycle, which had been inoperable for some months, so that he and his overly-athletic girlfriend could go cycling together. He was doing this not because he was especially keen on cycling, but because a) his flatmate had been bugging him for months to either fix the fucking bike or throw it out because it was an eye-sore, and b) he knew it would please his girlfriend. He thought of her, somewhere he knew not, at a formal ball with another bloke. He hoped she was having a good time.
So there I was, dressed to the nines, getting in the Pirate's car. I was already wondering how I could make a move without him losing whatever respect he might have had for me and declaring me a slut. I knew that if anything happened there was no way for Hairy to find out, providing I didn't tell him. You know those party games where there's a deck of cards with obnoxious theoretical questions like "If you met the most perfect man you could possibly imagine, and you knew your husband (whom you dearly love) could never ever possibly find out, would you sleep with him?" Everyone always says stupid shit like "No, because if he did find out, it would hurt his feelings and ruin our marraige," which completely evades the point of the question, that discolusure is impossible. And I always assumed such answers basically indicated that people were more concerened with being caught than with actually being guilty. And I thought such people were beneath contempt. *sigh*
The thing is, I feel slightly guilty, but I don't regret anything that happened, and if I had it to do over again, I would, without hesitation. But i'm getting ahead of myself.
We arrived, the Pirate got me a glass of rum punch and an OJ for himself. (Turns out that our Pirate does not consume alcohol. No crazy religious or ethical reasons or anything wack like that. Just doesn't like the stuff. Odd.) The Pirate didn't know many people there (and I knew none), so we hung around with our drinks and mocked the extremely cheezy theme of "Island Romance." The tents (it was outdoors) were decorated with inflatable palm trees and toucans, there were Pirates of the Caribbean posters around the dance floor, the waitstaff were dressed as pirates, and dinner was a whole roast pig and a bunch of seafood. Mostly it was pretty corny but the pig roast was good, and there was a rather attractive ice sculputre in the shape of an open clam that was the serving dish for the tropical fruit salad. There was a steel drum band playing during the cocktail hour (open bar, serving rum punch, pina coladas, sex on the beach, and a couple other fruity boozey things), and when the DJ came on there was a healthy dose of reggae in the mix. The organizers were thorough, you gotta give them that.
We found our table and introduced ourselves to the 3 other couples there, none of whom the Pirate knew. We kept having to respond to questions like "You two are such a cute couple. How long have you been married?" Nope, not awkward at all. Nice dinner though. I tried to tone down the flirting from the last time we had dined together, but I was on my 4th rum punch, and self-control was never my strong suit anyway.
After we'd finished eating there was no one on the dance floor yet, and not feeling like trailblazers, we decided to walk outside and see if the dodgems were operating yet. They were. (Other ents for the eve included several casino tables for which were were each given a stack of complimentary chips upon arrival, a video arcade of linked games so people could play against each other, and a photographer taking photos in front of a fake beach backdrop.) We hopped into the bumper cars and began attacking each other mercilessly. Jesus we had a good time. After 20 minutes of that shit I could barely catch my breath for laughing.
We decided to re-fuel at the desert buffet, which was by then open. Most opulent dessert buffet I have ever seen. We loaded our plates, and made a second trip later that night. To the Pirate's credit, he encouraged me to eat loads and loads of chocolate, emphasizing it's essential nutritive value.
By the time we finished stuffing our gobs with cream covered strawberries and every kind of chocolate cake nature ever conceived, the dance floor was looking a tad less desserted, so off we went.
Now, I'm not a half-bad dancer, but I don't usually like dancing in front of people I know. I prefer this to be a more anonymous activity because I am fully aware that the key to not looking like a twat is dance like you don't give a shit if you look like a twat. I find this mental state easier to achieve amonst strangers, call me crazy.
The Pirate was obviously of the same mind on this. He didn't have any "moves" per se, but he was fearless and fun and put me straight at ease. The music was mostly 70s and 80 cheeze, which was fine by me, and the Pirate surprised me by singing or mouthing (the music was too loud to tell which) the lyrics to all the songs. This was clearly his music, too. And we carried on like that for hours, taking occasional breaks to play on the dogdgems or the video games when he got overheated. We smiled while we danced (keeping a safe distance apart and never touching), and often met each others' eyes. When one of us would try out a different move, the other would pick it up and at times we actually looked like we knew what we were doing. Several of the older couples smiled at us in that Isn't it nice to see young people having fun way. By half one my face was hurting from grinning for so long.
The DJ put on a medley of tunes from Grease. We sang the duet parts to one another (I know I know, pure cheese), and then he put on a set from Dirty Dancing. Which of course ended with a slow song. We sort of shuffled about a bit like middle-schoolers and looked at our toes. I knew he fancied me, I knew I wanted him, I took the opportunity. "Do you want to keep dancing?"
"I don't know how to slow-dance."
After I got over my initial shock (fuck, slow dancing is easy. most people i know will only dance slow songs for the very reason that it's easier. good grief) I said I would be happy to show him. I took his left hand in my right and raised it up, put my left hand on his right shoulder...
You know those moments you get, maybe once or twice in your life, that feels like an electric shock in your stomach? I felt it once before, when I was 12. And I felt it Saturday night. When he put his hand on my back, it was like being hit with static electricity. When he drew me in to his body and our stomachs touched, I actually trembled.
This was not supposed to happen.
We danced and danced and danced. I've never been held like that before. I don't know how to keep writing this without using a plethora of tired, romance novel cliche's. It's going to sound corny, overly dramatic and fake. But I don't have any frames of reference to describe what happened, and the metaphors of bad romance novels are the accepted industry terms for articulating emotions to the unwashed masses (that's you lot), so that's just how it's going to be.
When the music stopped there was this hugely awkward moment, where we sort of stood there shuffling our feet and avoiding each others' gazes. I knew then that the "purely friendly" date was officially a myth for both of us. Acutally, I knew that before the music even stopped. I knew by the way he held me that he wanted me as badly as I wanted him. We made mumbling noises about "calling it a night" and being "worn out." He put his arm around my shoulders and we began to head for the door.
Bon Jovi called us back.
How can you not get up and dance when you hear Livin' On A Prayer?!? We looked at each other, grinned, and ran back to the dance floor, holding hands. And then we rocked. There was a string of good old 80s rock anthems, including Summer of '69, Sweet Child of Mine, Don't Stop Me Now, all that good shit. By the time the DJ finally told us that he was going home and going to bed and if we (the 6 people still in the room, and last survivors of the evening, even the survivors' breakfast had been cleared away) wanted to keep dancing we were going to have go out to the parking lot and turn up someone's car radio, we where exhausted, out of breath, and dripping with sweat. (That's foreshadowing, that is. Did you get that foreshadowing?)
Finally we were headed for the door. The Pirate paused to nick me a souvenier coconut from a decorative fruit display. ("Aaawww!") Out in the parking lot he opened the car door for me. "Your charriot, m'laday."
To be continued...