Thanks Christy for your awesome suggestion to share the rather unique circumstances under which Daniel and Brooke meet :)
Here it goes... please let me know what you think!
As I continued sweeping the crowd I saw the waitress who had served us drinks earlier handing beers to three guys a few tables down. The guy closest to the waitress was hitting on her, and she was clearly enjoying it. He seemed pretty full of himself which instantly turned me off. The friend to his right was acting like the typical side kick, laughing at his innuendos with the waitress and slapping hands as they talked about girls walking by. Then I noticed the guy sitting with them. He wasn’t chiming in with any of their crude jokes and looked like he couldn’t wait to get out of here.
What can you tell me about the guy sitting on the end of the table over there? To my horror everyone turned toward him at once, catching the waitress’s attention. She took a seat in macho man’s lap to stake her claim. Real subtle, people. Jesus! You’re killing me here!
After a quick round of muffled giggles Ruby spoke up. “He’s a virgin—as far as I can tell he’s never had a girlfriend.”
“He’s a junior and lives off campus with his family,” Sandy added. “He’s majoring in chemical engineering. The one flirting with the waitress is his older cousin.”
“And your thoughts were right, sis,” Raven said. “He dreads going out with them. He’s wishing he would’ve taken his younger brother’s offer to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy tonight.”
Do his friends give him as much shit as I think they do about being a virgin and not having a girlfriend?
“Yes,” Sienna replied flatly. “His cousin thinks he’s gay. They only invited him along so they could make fun of him.”
Are you picking up anything I should be worried about?
They all concentrated on him for a couple minutes. Finally Ruby spoke. “Only that he’s really lonely. If you choose him you should make sure he doesn’t expect a relationship with you.”
I can do that. Do you think he’d sleep with me tonight?
“He’s not thinking about taking anyone home right now,” Raven said. “Once you introduce yourself we’ll be able to tell.”
What’s his name?
“Daniel. And he actually goes by Daniel, not Dan.”
Good enough for me. If tonight can’t be special for me it can sure as hell be special for someone. Wish me luck.
Everyone cheered me on as I stood up and walked toward his table. When I got within a few feet the jackass cousin started staring at my breasts with a disgusting smirk on his face. I turned and walked behind the sidekick then leaned in toward Daniel. “You’re Daniel right? I’ve seen you around campus. Would you like to dance?”
Only his friends looked more shocked than he did. I smiled and waited for him to recover.
“What’s your name?” he finally managed.
“Brooke,” I replied, dancing a little in front of him. After an awkward silence, it became apparent that I was going to have to force the issue if I wanted this to go anywhere. I grabbed his hand and pulled him out of his chair. “Let’s go!”
As soon as we started to dance I could tell he’d never done this before in his life. All he did was step from side to side, his arms glued at his waist the entire time. I glared at his friends, who were now bent over the table in laughter, then slid in behind him and leaned up to his ear. “Do you mind if I show you a few things?”
“Sure,” he mumbled, flinching slightly from the close proximity of my voice.
Man this was going to be hard. I seriously thought about searching for someone who wasn’t such an introvert, but I couldn’t give his friends the satisfaction of seeing him get rejected. Placing my hands on his waist, I cradled my body up against his. “Let yourself feel the rhythm of the music then move your hips with it—like this.”
I started to swing my hips to the beat and used my hands to keep him with me, relaxing my grip only after he began to move on his own. His timing was off, since he was waiting for me to move rather than going off the music, but at least he was trying. “Much better. Now, instead of waiting to feel my hips move, listen to the music and see if you can pick up on the rhythm I’m following. Even though this stuff sounds fast, it still follows a regular beat.”
Before the end of the song his entire face lit up with a childlike smile. “I think I got it!”
“Only one way to find out.” Removing my hands from his hips, I backed off a couple of steps and watched—he was right. “Perfect! Now let’s get your arms moving. There are no hard and fast rules for what to do, just keep your arms up and let them bounce with the music. Turn around and watch me for a minute.”
I closed my eyes and let myself fall into the music. Once I was moving to the tempo with my usual ease I peeked at him. He was trying to mimic my arm movements, and looked kinda awkward, but not embarrassingly dorky like he had before. “Look at you!” I called out with a smile.
Daniel laughed and shook his head. “Like it’s not obvious that I’m copying you.”
“You just need to work on changing it up a bit.” I motioned toward two girls dancing nearby. “Their movements seem random don’t they? But if you watch long enough, you’ll notice that they’re repeating the same moves over and over again. They’re just disguising it well.”
We continued to dance as we watched. He finally turned back toward me. “The blonde does four different sets of moves and changes the order. The brunette is a lot simpler—she only has seven moves.”
For someone who’d never danced before, it was amazing how rapidly he caught on. “Damn! You nailed it! Now see if you can pick up what I do.” I settled back into the music and drowned out the fact that he was watching me. About half way through the next song I heard him speaking.
“God, you’re tough. I’ve seen you repeat a couple sets of moves, but I also continue to see new moves all the time. What are you doing?”
“I don’t know ahead of time,” I yelled over the music. “I have a lot of individual moves that I use, but I let them come out in whatever order feels right with the music. The less you think about it the better you’ll dance. Just let the beat take over your body. Enough teaching—let’s just have fun!”
I quit watching him and let myself enjoy the feeling that dancing always gave me. A couple of songs had passed before we were close together again. I couldn’t believe it was the same guy. He blended in perfectly with everyone else on the floor and looked like he’d been club dancing for years. He had a wide grin on his face and was really getting into it. When the song ended we made our way over to an empty table.
“I can’t believe how much fun that was!” he shouted.
“I’ve never seen someone pick it up so fast. You’re a natural!”
“Yeah, right—more like you’re a hell of a teacher.”
“Thanks Daniel.” The affectionate, almost star struck look in his eyes reminded me of what Ruby had said. If I didn’t want to hurt him I couldn’t afford to wait any longer. But like the true blue coward I was, rather than taking the plunge I chose to study a particularly interesting piece of lint on the floor.
“I need to ask you something that is going to sound really bizarre.”
“Okay…” Fear of where this might be headed had him gathering his legs underneath himself like a coiled up house cat preparing to leap out of danger.
After a long pause I met his gaze. “You can sleep with me tonight if you want to.”
“Jesus Brooke, we—”
“Please let me finish,” I interrupted. “I’m a virgin, which I can’t exactly fake, so I’ve obviously never done anything like this before. If you say yes I’ll expect you to make love to me, and all I can offer you is tonight—it’s your choice.”
“Why only tonight?” The disappointment and sadness in his words was palpable.
We sat in silence for a few uncomfortable seconds before he reached out and took my hand, gripping it like he could make my question disappear if he only squeezed hard enough. “I’m a virgin too. I get my ass ridden constantly for it but I’m not ashamed—I sure as hell didn’t come here expecting to go home with someone tonight. I get the feeling that you did, and I just happened to be the guy you picked."
Daniel pressed his forehead against the palm of his free hand and closed his eyes. "Damn it! I really like you, Brooke, but I gotta know why you’re so desperate to lose your virginity tonight, and why you can’t have a relationship with the person you give it to. If you can’t or won’t answer those questions then I’ll have to say no.”
The stinging pain of rejection filled my chest as I pulled my hand away. How could it hurt this bad to be turned down by someone I just met? Did I really like him that much already? Trying to salvage what little pride I had left, I stood up and turned to leave, tears streaming down my cheeks.
Before I’d even taken a step Raven sat down next to Daniel and glared at him with an anger I’d never seen in her. “You horse’s ass. My beautiful, innocent, loving sister offers you a chance to share a wonderful moment together, one that you’d remember for the rest of your life, and you say no! You want answers to your fucking questions! Fine! I’m taking her to the Mayo clinic tomorrow to start chemotherapy. The doctors only give her a five percent chance of seeing her nineteenth birthday, and she didn’t want to die a virgin. That’s why it has to be tonight, and why she isn’t looking to get involved with anyone.”
She paused. Her intense, fuming stare made Daniel lean away and glance down at the table. “She teaches you to dance and you make her cry—you worthless piece of shit!”
In one quick motion Raven had her arm around my shoulders and was rushing me off to the bathroom. I almost had to break into a jog to keep up with her.
“You were awesome Raven!” I said once we were safely inside. “You should totally be an actress! You had me believing I had cancer for God sakes. I think Daniel might have wet himself though…easy on the death stare, sis.”
She acknowledged my compliment with a smile. “Now, when we go back out there we’ll head to our table, and you’ll look all sad while we console you. Daniel feels terrible about forcing us to tell him what I did. It won’t be long at all before he comes to our table to apologize. He seems like a pretty good guy. I was really impressed that he didn’t jump on your offer, in spite of how badly he wants to sleep with you.”
Seeing my expression, Raven cupped my chin with her hand. “I can tell that you’re into him to. It’s nice that your first time can be with someone you like, but be careful not to get too attached—this really does have to be a one-time thing.”
“I know,” I whispered. “I thought I was going to have to block out memories of sleeping with some disgusting pig tonight. I wasn’t ready for this.”