Angel 14 (getting to first base)
‘Sorry, I was delayed,’ said Angel as she stepped into the car and pulled her seatbelt on. She sniffed and turned her head away, looking back at the house, so he couldn’t see she’d been crying.
Pizza Face was pulling away from the kerb, checking his rear-view mirrors, but the gears crunched and the car jolted as he parked in the middle of the road, the indicator ticking and the windscreen wiper shushing the rain. ‘Whit’s the matter with you?’
He reached for her hand, but she jerked it away, clutching at her stomach. ‘Just drive. Her blonde hair fell over her face as she sobbed.
The car clicked into gear and they took the turn into Byron Street. Pizza Face’s jaw was tight and his mouth clamped, he didn’t really know where he was going, but he gave her time and spun the car up towards the hills, away from lights and civilisation. As they took a bend on the road and up towards the Cochino his eyes darted sideways, he risked breaking the silence but kept his tone hearty.
‘Did you know that American jeeps used be parked up this way, right alang that way.’ He pointed at the drystone dyke wall. ‘Thousands of them and millions of GIs,’ he deliberately exaggerated and a small smile flickered on the corner of her mouth. ‘They’d a prisoner of war camp up here and the Germans used to work in Filches and the other farms. I mean, they treated them quite well. One of the Nazis they captured, a captain or something, had won a gold medal at the Olympics at swimming and Hitler presented him wae the medal. But he was like a fish and he missed the water so much the GIs used to bundle him in a long coat and put a bunnet on his heid and take him doon to the public baths at Hall Street for a swim.’
‘You’re making this up,’ she said, smiling.
‘Nah, honest, it’s true. But the GIs used to say to him, used to warn him. “Don’t speak to anybody. Nay Achtuning, or they’ll know by your accent you’re no a proper Bannkie. And they’ll gie you a doing for swimming in their pool and pissing, like a German, in the water. And don’t expect us to bail you oot. We’ll need to shoot you and say you escaped."’
‘Och, you’re making this up,’ she laughed. A packet of Benson and Hedges was left on a ledge near the gearstick. She pulled one out of the carton and lit it.
‘Honest,’ he said, looking at her and grinning.
‘How do you know that?’
‘Because there’s a wee guy doon there and around the corner.’ His voice trailed off. He ducked down and peered into the road ahead as if he was hiding among the poplar, alder, ash and elm, soaking up the rain and darkness, in among the jut and jar of the rutted paths away from the tarmacadam where white-washed cottages appeared. He squinted out into red-stemmed dogwood and meadowsweet spiraea that had lost their flame, bushes bent and slouching. ‘Aye, just around there,’ he said, waving a hand. ‘And he’s been here forever.’
‘I cannae see anything,’ she said.
He parked the car in a layby, windscreen wipers shuttling the rain away and turned off the headlights, ferns and grassy tussocks disappeared. He turned the radio off and they sat in darkness, only the light of her cigarette illuminating her face.
‘Feel a bit better?’ He took her hand from her lap and squeezed her fingers. ‘Your hands are freezing. I’ll turn the heating up.’
‘No, my hands and feet are always freezing. It’s OK.’
He stroked her long white fingers while she finished her cigarette and crushed it out in the ashtray. Then he pulled her sideways and edged closer and closer to kiss her.
They’d kissed for hours some nights in out of the way spots until her lips had chaffed and bled and even though he’d shaved her chin broke out in spots the next day. But he pulled away after about ten minutes, grunting and almost pulling her into his lap. He stroked her cheek.
‘I need to pop the question. And I suppose I should get doon on bended knee.’
‘Aye,’ she said, her eyes narrowing. ‘Whit is it?’
‘Can I put my hand on your wee tits. I’ve been dying to dae it for ages. But I appreciate that guy tried to rape yeh. And I don’t want you to think I’m like that. I’d never hurt you Angel.’
His bluster didn’t stop his cheeks from reddening and his birthmark glowing. He shifted his feet, pushing back on the armrest and staring out the window.
She tilted forward in her seat, plucking her blouse from the back of her denim skirt, cinched at the waist by a plastic belt. Reaching up her back she unhooked her bra. Her head dropped but there was enough light in the dim interior to undo the tiny fake pearl buttons, loosen and pull off her bra. She sat with her knees together her small breasts peeping out of her unbuttoned blouse.
‘You’re fucking beautiful,’ he growled, in a low voice.
The flat of his hand glided across and his fingers fluted across the rough, penny-coloured aureoles and pink nipples.
‘Sorry,’ he jerked his hand away.
But she grabbed at his wrist and lifted his arm and placed his cupped hand on her breast. She gasped as he gently squeezed. The pupils in his eyes were dilated, but she kept her gaze even and voice cool.
‘I don’t mind you toying with my breasts, or sucking on them, if you want to. That’s quite nice, I suppose. But I prefer when you kiss my neck. That’s super sensitive.’
His hand grew bolder and wet his lips. ‘I know,’ he said. ‘When I’ve kissed and nibbled on your neck, you sometimes moan and writhe and it’s as if you’re cumming on your pants.’
‘I don’t like dirty talk.’ She straightened her back and her breasts jumped as she pulled back from him. ‘You can play with my breasts and that’s it. If we go on to have sex I want it to be in a room, with a proper double bed.’
‘Does it need to be a double?’ His hand fell away. ‘I’ve only got a single bed in my hoose.’
She giggled and picked up her bra. ‘No, I suppose I could slum it.’
‘That’s a relief,’ he said. ‘But I suppose I could get a room in the Boulie, some night, after work. They’ve got double beds.
‘No, it’s quite alright.’ She slid her bra over her breasts.
‘Whit you daeing,’ he asked, a hurt tone in his voice. ‘You said I could play with them?’
She laughed because he sounded so much like a little boy whose favourite toy had been taken away. She tossed her bra to the side and he came at her like Boris Karloff with his two hands shaped like claws. Her hand cradled the back of his neck as he tried to fill his mouth with one of her breast and then the other, pulling at her hips.
‘No touching my bum,’ she warned him. ‘That’s icky.’