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February 6, 2009

Shelby and Tom (Part 1?)


Shelby really couldn’t remember how she had met Tom, whether it was through mutual friends, through a club at school or on the dance floor. She just knew that he was there. It seemed that he had always been there. Shelby felt as if she had known Tom her whole life.

Tom was a comfortable presence to Shelby’s almost manic need to feel upbeat and cheerful. She felt at peace around Tom, she didn’t have to try and cheer him up for he was naturally jovial. She didn’t have to work to keep the conversation flowing because he was as good a listener as a story teller.

Shelby could just be. With Tom she experienced calmness where silence was tolerated and even welcome and she didn’t feel the need to fill it up with words.

Tom’s physical size made Shelby feel safe. He was built like he had grown up working hard. His shoulders were broad and his hands were large and warm. He dwarfed her and being on the taller side it was a feeling that was not altogether new to her, but one that she found to be pleasant.

When Tom would ask for Shelby’s hand and lead her onto the dance floor she knew that people would watch them as they glided by in an effortless two or three-step or cheer from the sidelines when a fast jitterbug would come on over the speakers. Shelby would find herself being tossed about in the air as if she weighed nothing. She and Tom would leave the dance floor red-faced, sweating and laughing with triumph to the back pats and exclamations of their fellow dance hall patrons.

Tom’s size belied his grace and agility. He was big and tall, built like a man who could bench press a horse but his hands were nothing but gentle and his feet were so light when the two of them danced that they soon became a favorite pair to watch.

Tom and Shelby were also asked by others at the bar to dance so they shared tips, tricks and their love for dance with those around them. The older patrons would give them lessons on different throws that they had seen or had done themselves when they were younger.

The jitterbugging was great, it was fun and during parents’ weekends Tom and Shelby would wow and amaze their families at the sheer athleticism that was part of their team work on the dance floor. Tom would tease Shelby on the dance floor, calling her chicken if she would balk at doing one of the tricks that was easy for them but looked difficult so it was a real crowd pleaser.

The two of them would talk to one another during the dance as if in the next second Tom wasn’t going to give Shelby a nod, a smirk and a word, push her out with his right hand holding her left, roll her in wrapped up tight against his big body, lock his left hand deep into her right and suicide dip her. Stepping out with his left leg, Shelby stiff and facing the floor one moment, then he would lift their arms over her body, causing her to twirl against him and dip to the floor with her right knee bent, her butt to the floor and her left leg out (toe pointed of course).

Tom and Shelby were friends first. They would help each other out with daily life and then if time allowed they would work on jitterbug moves and throws after class in the soft earth of Tom’s backyard during the week, and sometimes in the lake.

Shelby fell in love with the waltz. The beautiful 1-2-3 of the waltz was so comforting to her. The rise and fall of each partner within the dance, the turns, the spins, the intricate foot work. It was as if Shelby and Tom breathed as one being on the floor when they waltzed. It was in those moments that she could almost fool herself that they were not just friends.

Shelby wasn’t sure if she should acknowledge Tom and the quick kisses he gave her against the corner of her mouth, or the feel of his big warm hand at the small of her back. His thumb tracing small circles on her hand as they danced. Maybe he was just an affectionate guy.

Maybe she was deluded.

Tom and Shelby were out driving around one evening. It was a clear fall night, the stars were out and it was still warm. The leaves had not changed for the cooler season and so the wind sighed through the branches of the trees as they drove down an old dirt road with the windows open and the night silent around them.

Tom stopped the truck and looked at Shelby. She looked back and smiled at him. The silence was comfortable. He reached over and pushed a stray piece of hair behind her ear and that’s when she could feel it. The silence was heavy now, she had a desire to say something to fill up the void but she was afraid that the stillness would shatter like glass.

He reached over for her and pulled her towards him. Shelby slid across the front seat of Tom’s old truck like she weighed nothing, like she was small. His big hands on her thigh and her shoulder were hot where he touched her and when she was next to him, only then did he take his hand from her leg and gently turn her face up to his own.

Shelby felt his pulse beating along her shoulder as she was pressed shoulder to knee along Tom, his arm around her shoulders and his sweet hand cupped under her chin. She looked up into his blue eyes and saw that even in the dim light of the truck’s interior his lashes showed golden. He blinked slowly at her, a small smile pulling his mouth up at the corner and then he bent his head to her and brushed his lips upon hers in the softest of kisses.

Tom pulled back but only far enough so that a deep breath from Shelby or even a word would have brought them back together. She looked at him and for the first time, really saw him. She saw Tom in a million moments at once. She saw his grin when he saw her, she felt his strength supporting her when they danced together or in laughter, she smelled his warm scent around her and in her clothing and in her hair. She saw the smiles and jokes, the excuses he used to touch her. Tom opened himself to her and she saw him, she truly saw him and felt his emotions. He wanted, for so long, to kiss her as a man. Not as a friend. He wanted to possess her and taste her and make her warm and comfortable.

Shelby was kind of squeamish about the whole relationship thing or she would have been dating Tom already. Well, that is... if he had asked.

But since he knew her and knew how she felt about being someone’s girlfriend he hadn’t asked. To Shelby and her patchwork past of boyfriends and relationships she saw being that special someone in a person’s life almost as a jail cell. In her head she could even hear herself, “You don’t own me.” She looked into Tom’s eyes and she knew that he didn’t want to own her as a trophy or as some vacant pretty thing to have on his arm. He just wanted to love her, if even for a moment.

That moment of anxiety passed through her as quickly as it took for her to tense up and then relax into his full embrace. He saw her relax and raised his eyebrows in a very elegant question. His eyes asked, “May I?” and she surprised herself by leaning in a fraction of an inch and pressing her mouth to his.

He moved his warm hand from her right shoulder and cupped the back of her head, entwining his fingers into her hair. He turned his head to the right and deepened the kiss, pulling her forward and opening her mouth with his tongue.

Shelby felt warm all over, suddenly she didn’t care that this was her dance partner, that he was just her friend. She opened her mouth to him and let her tongue dance over the tip of his. She raised her hand and grabbed the neck of his t-shirt and pulled him even closer. He gave a little low laugh that was grumbly and all male.

Tom said, “We’re going to fog up the windows in here.” She replied, “But the windows are already down.” He pulled the handle for his door and stepped out into the night that was cooling down. He reached in and offered Shelby a hand. She turned towards him, using her calves over the outside edge of the truck’s bench and his big warm hand to pull her forward. When her hips were past the steering wheel Tom reached in, cupped her bottom, and parted her legs around his waist and pulled her out of the truck. She gave out a little yip of surprise and then settled her legs more firmly around his hips, her hands clasped around the back of his neck, her fingers interlaced to give her leverage.

He turned and kicked the truck door closed with his boot and then walked around the door mirror to the side of the truck. He placed Shelby’s behind on the edge of the still cooling motor, the hood still warm under her body. He was a tall man so she only had to bend her neck a little to kiss him as he wrapped his arms around her ribs and spread her legs a little wider as he settled his body to lean up against the truck.

Each little kiss was a release, a release of anxiety of sexual tension that had been building for over a year. Each little touch of Tom’s hands were familiar and yet alien to Shelby as his hands had not touched her with this much passion and eagerness. He pulled away from her embrace and pushed her unruly hair from around her face. He looked at her and smiled. The moon was high in the sky and his blonde hair shone silver. His eyelashes that, in the truck, had shone golden were like streaks of light around his blue eyes. He touched her shoulders then grabbed them and laughed as he pulled her in for another kiss.

She wanted to ask what was so funny, but in that moment, Shelby’s wry sense of humor and sarcastic tendencies quieted and she knew that Tom was just expressing joy and something else, she wasn’t sure, but she was not afraid of him telling her in his own time. He ran his hands over her arms, down to her hands. He pulled each one up to his mouth and kissed them. Shelby noticed that his mustache and goatee tickled her knuckles but before, when he kissed her mouth, she was completely unaware of his facial hair. She wanted to feel that on her face again, she bent down for a kiss and he put his hands on either side of her face turning her head to kiss her deeper.

She felt the softness of his mustache and his goatee but what threw her for a loop was the softness of his mouth. His lips were full and so soft that she nipped at his lower lip gently to feel the firmness and softness found there. His hands found her back and with one hand warm across the small expanse of her lower back his other hand wandered up to find the mass of curls that she called hair. He pulled on the ends of the hair, feeling the silky texture and delighting in the goose bumps that rose on her arms from him playing with her hair.

About February 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Suzanna Danna in February 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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