Ice and Fire, Part Two

  • Posted on November 7, 2020 at 3:25 pm

By No One

Riley examined herself in the mirror, turning a critical eye to her appearance as she prepared for her Friday night date with Sabrina. It was strange, like looking at a slightly different person. It was her own face, of course, but the make-up made it seem unfamiliar somehow. It didn’t look bad, though. In fact, she was pretty happy with the result, considering she was a complete novice at applying cosmetics.

Her aunt had given her the little make-up kit for her fourteenth birthday, but Riley hadn’t had much cause or desire to use it until now. She’d been unsure about trying it on at all, considering her mixed feelings about this date in general. Would it seem as though she was trying too hard? In the end, she decided that since Sabrina would likely look amazing as usual, she should put real effort into her own appearance.

She’d just spent way longer than expected before the mirror, trying to follow the steps her aunt had taught her. She was mindful of the general tenets: less is more, emphasize what’s already there… and most importantly, ”Don’t slather it on like you’re doing it with a shovel, sweetie, or you’ll look like a whore.” In the end, Riley was confident she’d avoided looking slutty, but the make-up did give her a certain alluring sexiness, she thought. All in all, a very satisfactory experiment.

Riley took a step back to evaluate the rest of her outfit, pausing to put her glasses back on because everything was a blur if she stood more than a few inches away from the mirror. She considered putting her contacts in, then remembered that Sabrina thought her glasses were cute. She couldn’t imagine why, but still, if that’s what the girl liked…

She’d selected a pair of jeans that fit snugly at the hips. She rarely wore them anymore because they were actually getting a little too tight for her liking, but that made them the ideal choice for her date. She spun around for a look at her backside. Not bad, she had to admit. Not Sabrina-level, but then again, whose ass was?

At first, she’d tried on a tank top that went well with the jeans, but she’d felt it made her boobs look too small. In the end, her self-consciousness won out, and she opted for a cute blouse instead. Not exactly everyday wear, but it went better with her boyish frame.

Studying herself in the mirror now, she was surprised to find that she looked… good. Not hottest-girl-in-school good, but still, at least halfway attractive, which seemed like an improvement. She hoped Sabrina would like what she saw.

The thought gave her pause. On a normal day, she’d maybe brush her hair a little and throw on some randomly selected clothes. Now, here she was, having spent over an hour fretting over her outfit and make-up like she was some preppy girl. Did she want to impress Sabrina that much? Someone she didn’t even know if she liked that way? She was starting to half-hope that the date wouldn’t go well; this was entirely too much work.

At that moment, she heard the door to the apartment open and close. “Riley, you still here?” her father called out.

“Shit,” she muttered to herself. She’d been hoping to leave before he came home, thereby avoiding any awkward questions. Oh well, no point in hiding now. “Yeah, in here,” she replied.

“Hey, hon, I was just—” He stopped dead in his tracks when he reached the bathroom door and saw her. “Whoa.”

Riley shifted uncomfortably. Her dad was staring as if he barely recognized his own daughter. She gave a little shrug. “How do I look?”

“You look… great. More than great. Hmm… what is all this?” He frowned. “I thought you were going to see a movie with a girl from school? This looks suspiciously like a date.”

“I am seeing a movie with a girl from school…” Riley hesitated. She’d not been prepared to get into the whole “liking girls” thing right then. She swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. Still, if she couldn’t trust Dad to have her back, who else was there? “But… it might also be a date…”

“Oh.” His eyebrows slowly rose until they threatened to leave his forehead entirely. “Oh. That’s… new. Isn’t it?”

“Um, yeah, kinda. I don’t really… know what I’m doing. It’s just… She’s like the prettiest girl in school, and she asked me out. I was really surprised and, like, flattered, I guess, so I said yes… and here we are.”

He considered that for a moment, then nodded. “Well. Okay. A few things. First, however this turns out, I hope you know that there’s nothing wrong with liking other girls, and that I’ll love you no matter what.”

“I know, Dad.” Riley smiled and gave him a hug. She’d been pretty certain he would react this way, but it was still reassuring to hear the words.

“Secondly, well, regardless of who it’s with, I still think 14 is pretty young to be dating…”

Now it was Riley’s turn to frown. “Dad, we’ve been over this…”

“I know, I know—and look, I’m trying to be the cool dad here, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to rush growing up, and…” He stopped when he noticed the look she was giving him. “I’m not gonna win this one, am I?”

“No,” Riley said simply, but she still smiled. The dad-doesn’t-want-his-little-girl-to-grow-up-too-fast routine was sort of endearing, but still, she wasn’t a kid anymore and could make her own decisions. “Look, we’re not getting married or anything. It’s just a movie date,” she said, displaying far more nonchalance than she actually felt.

He sighed. “Fine, I suppose. So, does this girl have a name?”

“Sabrina.” Just saying the name made Riley nervous all over again. She was supposed to meet the girl in less than an hour.

“Hmm, I don’t think you’ve mentioned a Sabrina before. What is she like?”

“She’s… um…” Riley began, then faltered. What was Sabrina like? Beautiful, of course, but she’d said that already, and it seemed a bit superficial besides. Riley racked her brain for what she knew about Sabrina—what were her interests and hobbies, how did she act when hanging out with friends, who even were her real friends—and realized the sum of her knowledge amounted to very little. She’d basically written the girl off as a shallow pretty face, and that now seemed rather unfair, considering her judgment was based on nothing at all. As far as she knew, Sabrina did pretty well in school, and… that was about it. Oh, and… “Well, she likes The Lord of the Rings, so that’s a good start.”

Her dad chuckled. “Yeah, I’m sure that scores some major points. But do you like her? It kinda sounds like you’re more into the idea of her liking you.”

Riley blinked. Was that true? She had just acknowledged that she knew pretty much nothing about Sabrina, so… Was she going on this date only out of vanity? Because the popular girl liked her? That didn’t seem fair to Sabrina.

“I… don’t know. Maybe.” Riley leaned back against the washing machine, looked up at the ceiling, and let out a deep sigh. “I’m confused.”

Her father wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “It’s okay, kiddo. Look, putting aside my dad feelings, you want my honest advice? Go on this date and see how it goes. Do it with an open mind, but be honest with yourself about your feelings. Maybe you won’t feel any connection with this girl, and that’s okay, sometimes it’s like that and it doesn’t work out. If that’s the case, be sincere with her and don’t lead her on. Or maybe you’ll have a great time and want to see her again, and if so, good. It’s normal to be confused and try things out at your age. Nothing wrong with experimenting and seeing where you stand.” He nodded to himself, seemingly satisfied with his speech. Then a few seconds later, he seemed to think better of it. “Err, when I say ‘experimenting’, I don’t mean… Uh, there’s no need to rush into… certain things. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t let her push you into anything that you’re not comfortable with, okay?”

Riley caught her dad in a big hug. “Got it. Thanks, Dad. That… actually helped a lot.” It all made sense, and seemed like stuff that should have been obvious, really, but she’d been too busy freaking out. Sometimes you need someone to spell things out for you.

He gave her a dubious look. “You sound surprised. Do you doubt my fatherly wisdom, Riley Simmons?”

“Well, your ‘wisdom’ is usually just bad dad jokes…”

He considered that for a moment. “Fair point. So, you ready then? Need a lift?”

“Nah, I’ll take my bike, it’s not far.”

“Okay, then. Be back by 10:30?”

“11?” Riley flashed her sweetest smile. “It’s the weekend,” she added when her dad made a face.

He sighed. “Fine.”

Grinning, Riley checked her appearance in the mirror one last time, then made her way towards the door.

“You say this Sabrina is the prettiest girl in school,” her dad called out after her, “but I’d say she has some competition tonight!”

Riley snorted. “You’re like the only person who would think that, Dad.”

He spread his hands. “That’s my job, isn’t it? Go on, have fun. Love you, hon.”

“Love you too, Dad.”

***

Riley glanced at the clock on her phone for the third time in the past minute, feeling her anxiety grow by the second. Where was Sabrina? Was the girl standing her up? Or could Riley be the one waiting in the wrong spot somehow?

Struggling to keep calm, she took a deep breath. Would you relax? she thought, annoyed at herself. It’s not even 5. She’s not late yet. Get a grip.

For the hundredth time, she scanned the area in front of the mall, looking for a familiar blonde head among the passersby. Still nothing.

“Riley?” A voice behind her. Of course Sabrina would get here just when she was looking the other way.

Riley turned around to greet her date, but the words stuck in her throat. Sabrina looked even better than she normally did at school, something that Riley hadn’t thought possible. The girl was wearing a pretty summer dress, cinched at the waist to emphasize her figure, and maybe a hint shorter than appropriate. It was held up by thin spaghetti straps—no bra, Riley couldn’t help but notice—nearly hidden by the golden tresses cascading over her bare shoulders. Sabrina had also opted for a touch of make-up, which highlighted her beauty even more. She strode forward gracefully, despite the wedge-heeled sandals on her feet. Riley usually thought that high heels of any kind were weird and unnatural, but she had to admit that they fit Sabrina’s long legs perfectly. On the other hand, she wasn’t so enthused about the girl towering over her even more than usual.

“Hey. Wasn’t sure it was you,” Sabrina said. “Wow, you look great!”

“T-thanks. Um, you too. You look… really, really good.” If Riley had only crossed Sabrina’s path by chance, she probably would have been annoyed by the other girl’s appearance. Jealous, even. But now that she knew that Sabrina had dressed up for her, it made her feel all warm inside. Vain, maybe, but God, it felt good to be wanted.

“Thanks!” Sabrina smiled brightly, tucking her hair behind one ear. “Um, were you waiting long? Sorry, I guess I cut it a bit short.”

“Oh, no, not really. It’s cool,” Riley said casually, as if she hadn’t spent the last fifteen minutes in growing panic.

“Okay. Hey, I saw there was a new Italian place that opened right over there.” Sabrina pointed across the parking lot, at a neon sign that read Emilio’s. “You wanna try that?”

“Oh, sure. I love Italian.”

“Yeah? Cool, it’s my favorite.”

They began walking towards the restaurant. Now that they were together, Riley was filled with nervous jitters. She almost couldn’t believe she was actually on a date with a girl—with Sabrina Taylor, of all people. Suddenly, she felt completely inadequate in this situation. How was she supposed to act, what was she supposed to say to this goddess who seemed so far out of her league? Maybe this date had been a bad idea after all…

But Sabrina only smiled at her, looking happy and relaxed, and Riley did her best to offer back a convincing smile of her own.

They entered the restaurant, and Sabrina asked for a table for two. Riley wondered if the waitress could tell they were on a date, somehow. No, that was silly. How could she? Still, hadn’t she given them some kind of weird look? Riley shook her head and sighed. Surely it was just her imagination.

They sat down, and Sabrina gave her an amused look. “Jeez, relax. And I thought I was nervous. We’re just hanging out, you’re not gonna be branded with a scarlet letter or anything.”

“Yeah, sorry. You’re right. I just… yeah.” Riley felt her cheeks heating up and hid her face in the menu.

“What are you having?” Sabrina asked after a moment.

“Hmm, not sure yet. Thinking pizza. You?”

“Fettuccine Alfredo, my fave dish ever. Gotta see what this restaurant is worth!”

Riley looked through the list of available pizzas and noticed quite a few that sounded pretty good. Hearing Sabrina chuckle to herself, she glanced over the menu and saw the girl looking at her with a mysterious smile on her lips. “What?”

“Okay, no pressure or anything, but I have a question that could determine if we have a future as a couple.”

Riley raised an eyebrow. “Err, okay? Wow, starting off heavy.” She was fairly sure Sabrina was kidding, but still, that felt ominous. A couple. She hadn’t even gotten used to the idea of going on a date with another girl.

Sabrina leaned in a little, now straight-faced. “What’s your opinion of Hawaiian pizza?”

Oh, that question. No, this was serious business after all. Sabrina wasn’t one of those people, was she? Riley narrowed her eyes. “Crime against humanity,” she said, her expression perfectly deadpan.

Sabrina was silent for a moment, and Riley had to wonder if she actually was a fan of that particular atrocity, but then the girl cracked a smile and reached out over the table. Grinning, Riley bumped Sabrina’s fist with her own.

Just like that, the ice was broken. They started chatting amiably, first about how wrong it was to put pineapple on pizza, then about school, soon moving on to other topics. Riley quickly realized they had more in common than she would have thought, enjoying many of the same books and movies. And some music, though Sabrina had more mainstream tastes. She was interested in checking out a few of the bands Riley mentioned, entering their names into her phone to investigate later.

Riley was intrigued to learn that Sabrina intended to become an author when she was older. That seemed like a fascinating career, if one could pull it off. Though she loved to read, Riley herself wasn’t too great at writing, so she didn’t think that was for her. She was still trying to work out what she wanted to do when she grew up. Maybe something science-related.

“So, as a writer type, I guess you must prefer the Lord of the Rings books to the movies, right?” Riley asked. The correct answer was, of course, yes.

“Oh yeah, for sure. The books are always better. The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, whatever.”

Riley smiled. “All good picks. Gotta say, I’m a bit surprised you’re so into this stuff.”

Sabrina arched an eyebrow. “Oh? Why?”

“Well… you just seem, um…” Riley hesitated. There was no real way to say this politely, so she was just going to come out with it. “I kinda took you for an airhead cheerleader type…”

“Jeez, ouch. What did I do to deserve that?”

“Nothing! It was unfair, I know… But it’s sort of a compliment, in a way? Like, you’re too pretty to be into nerdy stuff?”

Sabrina’s expression was skeptical. “Uh-huh. I think that’s called a back-handed compliment. But I’ll take it, if you want to tell me how pretty you think I am.”

Riley felt the warmth rising on her cheeks and hoped it wasn’t too obvious. Truth be told, she had already caught herself appreciating Sabrina’s beauty a few times while they ate. The girl could seriously be a model, maybe even a Hollywood star if she wanted. And those piercing blue eyes. They seemed to fill up the whole world when she looked at you a certain way.

Riley wondered, not for the first time, if the jealousy she’d felt towards Sabrina had actually concealed some kind of attraction. Didn’t they say that jealousy was the sincerest form of flattery? No, that wasn’t quite how the adage went… but it was close enough. The fact was that she did admire Sabrina’s looks, and now that she’d found out that she also really enjoyed talking with the girl, it made her all the more alluring.

She began to imagine what might happen if this relationship worked out and things went further between them. To her dismay, she felt her face grow even hotter.

“And you’re real cute, too… especially when you blush,” Sabrina said, her eyes gazing deep into Riley’s, which didn’t help matters. “Or when you’re nerding out.” She’d already heard Riley going into detail about the differences between the book and movie versions of The Fellowship of the Ring. “Well, all the time, really… but especially then.”

“T-thanks,” Riley mumbled, at a loss for words. The heat from her face seemed to be spreading through her entire body. Sabrina was… pretty great. And gorgeous. And she liked Riley. Maybe this date had been a good idea after all.

“For the record, though,” Sabrina continued, “cheerleading is dumb and objectifying, and I’d never get into it.”

Riley laughed, her embarrassment fading a little. She raised her hand for another fist bump. “Right on.”

At that moment, the waitress returned to their table, asking if they wanted dessert. They exchanged a glance, and Sabrina looked at the time on her phone. “Nah, we should probably get going, right?”

Riley nodded. “Yeah. Don’t wanna miss the previews,” she said, only half-joking. She knew they were basically just ads meant to sell more tickets, but somehow movie trailers always felt integral to the theater experience.

“All right. I’ll leave you this, then,” the waitress said, placing the bill face down on the table. Be back in a minute.”.

Riley and Sabrina both stared at the single piece of paper for a moment, then at each other, chuckling awkwardly. They hadn’t thought to ask for separate checks.

Riley wasn’t sure what the bill etiquette was supposed to be for a date. Hell, she’d never been on a dinner date before. Tradition dictated that the boy was supposed to pay, but clearly, that meant nothing in this situation… and it seemed stupid and antiquated, anyway. Should she suggest splitting it, or was that some kind of social blunder? Maybe she should just pick up the check, it wasn’t that big a deal—though between this and the movie ticket, she’d be pretty broke. Should have asked Dad for some cash, she thought.

Riley reached out to take the bill, but Sabrina was slightly quicker, and Riley’s hand ended up covering the other girl’s instead. She froze for a moment, then snatched her hand away, certain that she was blushing all over again. Sabrina’s skin had been soft and warm, pleasant to the touch.

“It’s okay, I got this,” Sabrina said, offering a small smile.

“Oh. Well, you don’t have to. We could split or something…?”

“It’s fine. I’m the one who asked you out, anyway.”

Riley shrugged, but she supposed that was true enough. “Well, okay, if you want.”

Sabrina settled the bill, then they exited the restaurant and began making their way towards the theater.

“So, have you written anything?” Riley asked as they walked, trying to make conversation.

“What?”

“Since you want to be an author, I mean. You got anything written? Short story or whatever? I’m curious. Maybe I could give it a read, give you feedback.”

“Oh, uh, that’s not… Um, I got some stuff but… it’s probably not very good.” For the first time that evening, Sabrina actually looked anxious. Funny how the girl could seem perfectly relaxed on a first date, but got all nervous about sharing her hobby.

“Oh, come on. I’m sure it’s not that bad. What, you’ve never shown it to anyone?”

“Um, no, not really.”

“Oh, now I want to read it even more!”

“Well, I’m not really happy with what I’ve written before, but…” Sabrina hesitated, met Riley’s eyes. “I guess once I’m done with the story I’m working on now, you could take a look, maybe. It’s a bit better. I think.”

“Deal!” Riley grinned, and Sabrina offered a sheepish smile in return. It was pretty cute, the way she was so self-conscious about her writing. Now Riley could kind of see why Sabrina had enjoyed making her blush earlier. She was happy that the girl was willing to share something so personal and important to her. Maybe they’d make a good couple after all.

The thought surprised her. Was she really getting used to the idea of them as a couple? Of being Sabrina’s… girlfriend? She glanced sideways at the beautiful blonde and her heart rate sped up a little. Yeah, she just might be ready to consider a relationship, and the thought made her smile in spite of herself. She was half-tempted to take Sabrina’s hand in hers right then—that brief touch in the restaurant had been nice—but didn’t dare try anything so overt just yet.

Upon reaching their destination, Riley took a few quick steps ahead so as to reach the admission booth first. She asked for two tickets, paid for them, then handed one to Sabrina, who gave her a look. Riley smiled. “What? I can’t have you paying for everything. It’s… unseemly!”

“Fine.” Sabrina shrugged, then flashed a quick grin. “I’m getting the popcorn, though!” She started at a half-run towards the concession stand.

“We just ate!” Riley called out after her.

“Can’t go to the movies without getting popcorn!”

Riley had to concede the point; it just wasn’t the same without some popcorn to munch on. Sabrina bought a bag for them to share, then they made their way into the theater.

“Well, looks like we won’t have any trouble finding good seats,” Sabrina said as they entered. There were at most fifteen people in the whole room.

“What? Where is everyone? This movie’s great!”

“I guess most people aren’t interested in seeing a movie that’s, like, 20 years old in a theater.”

“Pfff. Their loss.”

They took seats near the middle of the room and began eating their popcorn while waiting for the movie to start. Now and then, their hands brushed when they reached into the bag, and each time it made Riley’s heart skip a beat.

She cast a sidelong glance at the other girl, wondering if she was really falling for Sabrina. She’d been so unsure about even going on this date, and now here she was, getting all warm and fuzzy from the merest skin contact. And it wasn’t like Sabrina had done anything special. She was just nice, smart and fun to be around, and… Well, maybe that was all that mattered.

After the fourth time that they reached into the bag of popcorn at the same time and bumped hands, Sabrina turned to Riley, a knowing smile on her lips. “Are you doing that on purpose?”

“No!” At least, Riley didn’t think it was on purpose. “I… I was just wondering if you were.”

“Please. If I wanted to hold your hand, I’d just do it. None of this sneaking around,” Sabrina said with exaggerated haughtiness, then adding a mischievous wink.

Affected or not, Sabrina’s confidence was rather charming. Riley couldn’t help noticing the implication, though. “So… you’re saying you don’t want to hold my hand?”

“Oh… I didn’t mean… It’s not that I don’t want to. I just thought that you, um… Well, I didn’t want to, like, rush things, y’know?” Sabrina didn’t sound so self-assured now, scrambling to explain herself, but somehow it was equally charming. The girl just couldn’t help being irresistible. “Unless you want to…?” she added, meeting Riley’s eyes.

Her heart suddenly in her throat, Riley hesitated. This seemed like a big, abrupt step. Her feelings for Sabrina had done such a 180 these past few days, it was hard to keep up. Then again, hadn’t she been thinking about holding hands with the girl just a few minutes ago?

Growing embarrassed, she wanted to look away, but Sabrina’s gaze held her fast. Losing herself in those gorgeous eyes, she felt her doubts slowly fade. Yes, she did want to hold Sabrina’s hand, and that was perfectly fine. With mixed relief and apprehension, Riley wondered if there was anything she wouldn’t do if Sabrina was looking at her that way.

Feeling her cheeks burn yet again, Riley offered her hand to the other girl.

Surprise flashed on Sabrina’s face for an instant, quickly replaced by a bright smile as she took Riley’s hand in hers and gave it a squeeze.

Riley offered a more sheepish smile in return, then finally managed to tear her eyes away from Sabrina’s. Leaning back in her seat, she stared at the blank screen, unsure what to do or say. The warmth in her hand now matched the heat on her face. Tingles spread along her arm and through her body. Her heart raced. All that, just from holding someone’s hand!

She wondered if Sabrina was experiencing something similar. It wasn’t unpleasant—on the contrary!—but she hadn’t been prepared for the intensity of the feelings that were coursing through her. She even felt a kind of warmth spreading downwards through her belly, and hastened to push that sensation out of her mind. Regardless of how well things seemed to be going, she was not ready to become sexually aroused by another girl. Especially in the middle of a movie theater.

Half-certain that everyone must be staring at them, she stole a quick glance around the room, but nobody seemed to be paying them any mind. She dared a shy peek at Sabrina, and found the other girl looking back.

“You okay there? We don’t have to keep doing this if you—”

“No, it’s okay,” Riley quickly interrupted, surprising even herself. She realized she really didn’t want to let go, despite these mixed-up feelings.

Sabrina smiled and squeezed Riley’s hand again. Riley found herself squeezing back, growing more at ease.

Then the lights in the room dimmed and the previews started, grabbing most of her attention. The excitement over holding hands with Sabrina gradually faded to a pleasant giddiness at the back of her mind as she watched the trailers for upcoming movies. There were some decent-looking ones, but nothing really struck her as a must-see.

Finally, it was time for the main attraction. Having seen the movie so many times already, Riley knew exactly what to expect. But she didn’t mind, of course. From the sequence of company logos at the very beginning, to the first notes of the soundtrack, to the first images and lines, she relished the cozy familiarity of spending time with an old friend.

She didn’t know the entire movie by heart—not quite—but she did catch herself mouthing some of the lines as the plot unfolded. And all the while, she kept holding Sabrina’s hand, not really thinking about it very much. Sometimes one of them would react unwittingly, though. During the scene where the evil Nazgûls are searching for the hidden hobbits, Sabrina gripped Riley’s hand tightly, making her smile. It was sweet and cute, and made Riley’s heart skip a beat for reasons that had nothing to do with what was happening on the screen.

The three-hour running time went by surprisingly quickly, and they soon found themselves staring at the scrolling credits. Sabrina turned to Riley. “Well, that was fun.”

“Yeah. Of course it was!” As if there was any way The Lord of the Rings could be boring. “But… I still think they should have put Tom Bombadil in the movie. He might be a little goofy, but that part of the book is still cool, and the lore behind the character is—”

Riley’s train of thought was abruptly derailed when Sabrina leaned in and kissed her, right out of the blue.

She froze, completely taken by surprise. Sabrina was kissing her! Her heart was suddenly hammering in her chest and her senses were overwhelmed by new stimuli. A hint of perfume in her nostrils, Sabrina’s warm breath mingling with her own, the feel of those lips against hers, so incredibly soft.

It took Riley a few seconds to process what was happening, and just as she was beginning to think that she should respond somehow, Sabrina pulled away.

“Whoa,” was all Riley managed to say. She stared at the stunning goddess next to her, wondering how she had landed in this situation. How many people would give an arm, a leg, or both to be in her place right then? But all she could do was sit there, dumbfounded.

“Sorry.” Even in the dim light of the theater, Sabrina’s pale cheeks were turning a shade redder. “I, um… Like I said, you’re just too cute when you get all nerdy!” She grinned, then quickly sobered up. “But still, I shouldn’t have done that. Sorry.”

Riley shrugged uncomfortably. She wasn’t angry, just… confused? She’d been startled by the kiss and hadn’t had the presence of mind to either enjoy or dislike it. It certainly hadn’t been a turn-off, though; her lips were still tingly, and her belly felt full of warm, soft butterflies. “It’s okay… It wasn’t all bad,” she said weakly.

Sabrina raised an eyebrow. “Not all bad, huh?”

“I mean… you know, I didn’t really get, um…” Riley hesitated. If she finished her thought, it would be a clear invitation for more… but it occurred to her that she didn’t mind. No, in fact, she sort of wanted another try. “Didn’t get enough time to… to know for sure.”

Sabrina’s gaze flicked around the room, then fixed on Riley. “Oh yeah?” She leaned forward a little, but not all the way this time.

Heart in her throat, Riley also took a quick look around. The people further back were already walking up the aisles, and no one was paying any attention to the two girls who were still in their seats. She met Sabrina’s eyes, and that beguiling gaze quickly banished any reluctance she might have felt. “Yeah…” she breathed, leaning in closer.

Their lips met again. Riley wasn’t sure which of them had actually initiated the kiss this time. She closed her eyes, concentrating on the sensation, on how it made her feel.

It was a soft, gentle kiss, and now that she was ready for it, Riley had to admit that Sabrina’s silky lips really struck sparks in her mind. She wasn’t much of an experienced kisser, but did her best to follow Sabrina’s lead. It was sweet. Exciting even, with a hint of forbidden thrill. There was a pleasant fire in her belly. It felt… right.

After a long moment, Sabrina pulled back, gazing expectantly at Riley.

“Wow,” Riley said, letting out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “That was… pretty good.” Putting it mildly, but it was all she could think of to say. “Um, maybe girls aren’t so bad,” she then added, a sheepish smile on her lips. She’d been warming up to the idea of dating Sabrina all evening, but that kiss made the prospect of this romance seem downright thrilling.

“I’ll take ’pretty good.’ But trust me, it only gets better.” Sabrina raised an eyebrow suggestively.

Indecent images of what that might mean flashed in Riley’s mind, making her blush. How much better? she wondered.

“Another time, though.” Sabrina glanced around the room again. “We should probably go.”

Following Sabrina’s gaze, Riley saw that most people had already left, and two theater employees were waiting impatiently for the two of them to get out so that they could clean the room. Riley hoped they hadn’t seen them kissing—it wasn’t a huge deal, but still—as she got up and followed Sabrina towards the exit.

As they passed by the employees, the middle-aged man ignored them, but the late-teen girl winked at Riley, who flashed an embarrassed smile before hurrying out.

“Well, I need to make a pit stop,” Sabrina announced as they walked out into the lobby, gesturing toward the restrooms. “That was a long movie!”

“Yeah, I should do that, too.”

They found the bathroom rather crowded, but there were a couple of empty stalls. By the time they were done with their business, though, the room had emptied considerably, just one girl using the hand drier, then making her exit. As they washed their own hands, Riley was reminded of the last time she and Sabrina were together in a public restroom. It was just a few days ago, but it felt like her life had turned upside down since then.

“What are you smiling at?” Sabrina asked.

“Oh, um, nothing.” Riley hadn’t even realized that those thoughts had made her smile. “Just thinking about the last time we were washing our hands like this… and then you kinda dropped that bomb on me.”

“Ah, and… by your smile, I take it that you don’t regret your decision?”

“No.” Riley’s smile widened in spite of herself, and she felt her cheeks go warm again. “This is… nice. I had a good time.” It felt like she should say more. In fact, their date had gone way, way better than she’d expected. But she wasn’t very good at this sort of thing.

Sabrina seemed pleased, though. “Good. Me too.” For an instant, there was a twinkle in her eyes and it looked like she was about to move closer to Riley, maybe even kiss her again. Riley had to admit that she wouldn’t have been against the idea, but the moment passed, and Sabrina seemed to have thought better of it. Instead, she suddenly asked, “So, what do you think of Liv Tyler in that movie?”

Riley blinked at the abrupt change of subject. “Arwen? Er, like, the character, or her acting, or…?”

Sabrina smirked. “I mean, do you think she’s hot?”

Riley let out a surprised laugh. “Oh, jeez.” Was that going to be a thing now? Was she supposed to gossip about which girls were hot?

“Well, what?” Sabrina shrugged. “Just wondering what goes on in your mind, I guess. Now that you’re, dare I say… thinking about playing for the right team.”

Riley snorted. “Oh, wow. Is that what’s happening?”

“I hope so.” Sabrina winked. “But yeah, just curious. Like, I had a huge crush on Liv when I first saw the movie… back when I was, like, 8.”

“Hah, really? Hmm, I dunno, I mean… sure, she’s gorgeous, I guess. But I haven’t thought about it that way before. I’m not sure I’d want to, like, kiss her or anything.” But even as she spoke, Riley realized that she wasn’t too sure of her feelings anymore. Sabrina was the only girl she’d ever considered kissing, let alone anything else. She didn’t think Hollywood actresses did much for her. Though, now that she thought about it… Liv Tyler the actress might not, but Arwen, the beautiful, immortal Elf…

As if reading her thoughts, Sabrina raised a skeptical eyebrow.

“Weeeeeell…” Riley laughed. “Gotta admit, she did do a great job capturing the, um, otherworldly beauty of an Elf. That’s not… unattractive.” She looked away, embarrassed, then glanced back to see if Sabrina was laughing at her, but the girl just nodded, grinning. Speaking of “otherworldly beauty,” though, Liv Tyler had nothing on Sabrina, Riley decided. “You sure you don’t have elven blood?” She winced, immediately regretting the corny line. “God, did I just say that?”

Sabrina laughed. “Nerdy compliment, huh? I’ll take it.” Then she narrowed her eyes at Riley. “As long as you don’t expect me to wear pointy ears…”

“Oh, no, no. Nothing like that!” Riley held her hands up appeasingly. She did think Sabrina could pull that look off, though.

“Good.” Sabrina smiled and stepped closer. She reached out to toy with a strand of Riley’s hair, then caressed her cheek with a finger.

Riley suddenly felt hot all over. Again, it looked like Sabrina was just about to kiss her, and she was surprised to find herself so hungry for another taste of the girl’s sweet lips.

But instead, Sabrina glanced around the empty restroom, then at the door. She hesitated, taking a step back. “We should probably go before someone comes in and…” She trailed off, shrugged.

“I guess,” Riley said, disappointed. Clearly, Sabrina was afraid of getting caught, and Riley didn’t relish that possibility either, but… Then they couldn’t kiss out in the mall, or on the streets, so this might be her last chance to get one for now.

Before she realized what she was doing, Riley caught up to Sabrina, grabbed the girl by the wrist before she could open the door, and murmured, “But before we go…”

Drawing Sabrina close, Riley planted a kiss on her pretty mouth.

At first she wondered if Sabrina would back off, but on the contrary, the girl practically melted into her arms, and Riley found herself tangled in a passionate kiss. She soon realized it was a little awkward to lock lips with someone half-a-head taller—probably more, with the heels Sabrina had on—while standing, having to tilt her neck back, but she didn’t let that bother her. The kiss was more than enough to take her mind off any discomfort.

It was even better than the last one. Sharing this intimate connection with Sabrina filled her with glee, elation—and yes, Riley had to admit, stirrings of lust. She could definitely get used to this.

“Mmmm,” Sabrina purred when their lips parted.

“Sorry. Hope you’re, um, okay with that.” Riley tried for an innocent smile, but she wasn’t sure it was very convincing, with her breath now a little erratic. The desire she plainly saw in Sabrina’s eyes wasn’t helping to calm her down, either.

“I love kissing you, and I want to do it a lot more, but…” Sabrina took a deep breath. “Probably not a good time. If we bumped into someone we know from school or something…”

Riley had to agree. She’d never liked being the center of attention, and if people knew she was dating the most sought-after girl in school, there would be no end to questions, gossip, and snark, even hostility. “Yeah, you’re right. Don’t want all that attention.”

They walked out of the bathroom, leisurely making their way towards the exit.

“Yeah, but, it’s not just that,” Sabrina said. “I think I mentioned how the kids at my old school found out that, y’know, I like girls, and, well…” She sighed. “It was… bad.”

“What happened?” Riley asked softly.

“I confided in this one girl I thought I could trust, and she told everyone. Or I don’t know, she told someone who then told everyone. Whatever. People weren’t very… accepting. You know how it is. Lash out against others who are different, I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do? Anyway, I got a lot of shit, and things could get pretty hateful. Got my locker spray-painted with ‘dyke’, and ‘cunt muncher’ or whatever it was. Fun times.” Sabrina’s voice was tight, and she stared into the distance as she spoke, then she gave herself a shake and turned to Riley. “Anyway, long story short: really glad I moved!”

“Jesus, what the fuck…” Riley blurted out, shocked. “That’s horrible! How can people do shit like that? I’m so sorry this happened to you.”

Sabrina shrugged. “Yeah. It wasn’t my favorite school. Or town.”

“I’m pretty sure people here wouldn’t be that bad… I think. I mean, I guess I don’t really know anyone who’s, like, out. But there are probably some? And I haven’t heard of anything terrible like that happening around here.”

“Yeah, maybe. I’m not really keen on taking any chances just yet, though.”

“My dad was pretty surprised when I told him I was going out with a girl,” Riley said with a chuckle, hoping that would lighten the mood. “But he was totally cool with it.”

Sabrina’s eyebrows rose up. “Whoa, really? You told him already?”

“Um, yeah. Well, he kinda caught me while I was getting ready for tonight, and I didn’t wanna lie, so… But yeah, it was fine. He talked me down when I was feeling super stressed about it, hah.”

“Huh, cool. Sounds like a nice guy.”

“Yeah, he’s great. Um, do your parents not know?”

“Oh. Um, no. Like, it’s not a big deal, I don’t think they’d freak out or anything… But, I dunno. We’re just not that close, I guess? They’re very, um… career-oriented, is how some put it.” She made a face. “Workaholics, more like. We don’t talk that much. My mom is a consultant for big companies. Like, she basically takes over an office or branch that has trouble for a year or two until things are running smoothly. That’s why we move around a lot. My dad’s an engineer for… computer stuff, whatever, so he can just work remotely from anywhere.”

“Ah, hmm, sounds like that could be kinda… difficult,” Riley said, trying to be diplomatic. It sounded really bad, actually. Moving around the country constantly must already be a drag, but with parents who were so distant as well… She couldn’t imagine living like that.

“Yeah, sometimes. Oh well. It is what it is.” Sabrina shrugged. “What about your mom? You told her about this date, too?”

“Oh, no. Um, she died when I was 7. Car accident.”

“Oh shit, sorry! Here I am complaining about my family and…”

Riley waved off the concern. “Nah, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it,” she said, trying to cut short the outpouring of pity that always happened when she mentioned her mom. She’d never been able to stand it. Still, she couldn’t help thinking that her mom would have liked Sabrina.

There was a moment of awkward silence, then Riley decided to voice the question that had been on her mind. “So… why’d you take the risk of asking me out, if you had such a bad experience before?”

“Well… ‘cause you’re awesome, and worth the risk. And hot.” Sabrina flashed a winning smile, which faltered a little as she scratched the back of her head. “And, okay, ‘cause I was kinda lonely and… I thought I saw you checking me out, so it seemed like a pretty safe bet. I guess that wasn’t the case, but hey, it worked out. But mostly because you’re awesome.” She winked, her good mood restored.

Riley wasn’t sure whether to be amused by the explanation, or embarrassed by the compliments, and in the end opted for both, laughing and blushing in equal measure. She felt truly touched that Sabrina had thought she was worth taking that big chance for, though. She could still hardly believe that this beautiful, amazing girl was so into her, but she welcomed the confidence boost. “Well, okay, then! I guess I am pretty awesome.” She couldn’t help grinning, and Sabrina returned the smile.

By then, they were back outside the mall. Sabrina glanced around, and said, “So… walk me home? I live pretty close.”

“Oh, sure.” Riley fetched her bike from where she’d locked it up nearby, then began walking alongside Sabrina, happy that they didn’t have to end things just yet. She laughed at herself; she’d been so nervous and worried about this date, and now she couldn’t get enough of it.

They walked for a few blocks, chatting amicably about this and that, then  took a turn onto Sabrina’s street. It was a nice part of town, not exactly upscale, but it was clear that Sabrina’s parents didn’t want for money. There was no moon, but the street lamps were on, and the numerous trees that lined the street created a lovely pattern of shadows across the sidewalk.

There was no one else in sight, and apparently Sabrina now felt much more at ease, because she suddenly took Riley’s hand, grinning at her surprised look. “I’ve been wanting to do that all the way here.”

“Me too,” Riley admitted sheepishly. It still felt odd to be falling for a girl, but she couldn’t deny that she loved the way this made her feel–being close to Sabrina, holding her hand.

They walked past a few more houses, then Sabrina stopped in front of a nice two-story home. “Well, this is me. Thanks for coming tonight, I had a great time.”

“Yeah, thanks for… asking me out, I guess.” Riley said, suddenly fumbling for the right words. “This was… actually pretty nice.”

Sabrina laughed at that. “Don’t sound so surprised!”

Riley had to laugh herself. “Well, y’know, I wouldn’t have imagined doing anything like this just a week ago! But… yeah, I’m really glad I came.”

“Good.” Sabrina took a step closer and kissed her. Not a lingering kiss, but not just a peck either. A couple seconds at most, but it was enough to set Riley’s heart racing.

Sabrina gazed at Riley, still standing intimately close. There was a yearning in her that a quick kiss clearly hadn’t sated. She seemed to hesitate, then asked, “You wanna come in?”

Taken by surprise, Riley stammered a response. “O-oh, err… I… don’t think so. Like, I don’t think I’m ready to meet your parents and stuff. Even if they don’t know about… anything. That seems kinda, y’know, official, for a first date.”

Sabrina chuckled. “No, no. My parents aren’t home right now. It’s just the two of us.”

“Oh.” It took a second for Riley to process this information, then she saw Sabrina’s invitation in a whole new light. “Oh!”

“I’ll behave,” Sabrina said in a tone that no one who behaves uses. She winked, turned on her heels, and began advancing towards the house. “If you want me to, that is,” she added over her shoulder.

Riley stood frozen for a moment, enthralled by Sabrina’s walk. The sway of her hips was downright hypnotic. Was she doing it on purpose?

Taking a deep breath, Riley tried to think. Things were getting a little out of hand. She doubted Sabrina had invited her in just for a friendly chat, and while she wouldn’t mind kissing some more in private… What if the girl wanted to go further? Sabrina had said she’d behave, but would she? Did Riley want her to? It suddenly felt like this date could get a lot wilder than she’d been prepared for. It was scary… and more than a little exciting.

She wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Except that she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Sabrina just yet. She found herself locking her bike to the small fence in front of the house, then slowly following the other girl to the front door.

On to Part Three!

 

13 Comments on Ice and Fire, Part Two

  1. Euphrosyne, Thalia & Aglaia says:

    wow!…so good. Lovely teen romance starting there. great character development, excellent dialog, with bits of true awkwardness and angst! dating is so difficult for first timers and I imagine even more so for teen lesbians, but Riley and Sabrina seem to be navigating these choppy waters with a sureness well beyond their apparent tender ages.

    Loved the way they shared the popcorn during the movie, and how Sabrina thought Riley was cute during her more “nerdy moments” explaining things. And what’s going to happen in part three? will Sabrina ardently take advantage of Riley’s semi-naivety?, will Riley get shaken up and bolt for the door,embarrassed?….questions, so many questions!

    Great story so far, No One. hope all bides well for our intrepid young lovers!

    E,T&A

  2. Lakeisha says:

    Wow!

    Ice and Fire is quickly becoming one of my favorite reads at Juicy Secrets. Looking forward to chapter three.

    Lakeisha

  3. David says:

    Great chapter No One! I loved the slow build up of what I hope is to come. The whole uncertainty of what was going to happen on the date and the thoughts in their minds were perfect. The kissing was so hot too, especially when Riley grabbed Sabrina’s wrist for one last kiss. Can’t wait for the next chapter to see how it goes in Sabrina’s house while all alone.

  4. Swan says:

    Excellent story, I second the lovely comments given by E, T & A above. Looking forward to many more delightful chapters.

  5. Captain Midnight says:

    This was very nice to begin with; even more so now.

    That’s really good that the dad is fine with his daughter dating another girl. Sounds like he knows all along there could be a romance. He’s a cool dad.

    Also really nice that anything sexual is being put off for the foreseeable future. It shows a nice understanding of how kids are (or used to, anyway) want to figure things out as they date.

    An outstanding story. One I will enjoy.

  6. kim says:

    Another very charming and pleasant chapter, No One. Liking that Riley’s dad is nice. And we’re enjoying the very good dialog, and character build up.

    Kim & Sue

  7. Jill says:

    Chapter 1 got my attention and I’ve been waiting for this chapter. I’m hooked!

    I love the realism. The dialog between Riley and Dad, then the two girls, the third-person of the tension Riley feels. Sabrina’s confidence is appropriate and you convey it well. In addition, you paint great pictures, even describing Sabrina’s neighborhood.

    And, you’ve left us with a little cliffhanger. I wasn’t expecting Riley to be invited inside but it sure makes me pace the floor waiting on the next chapter! I’m expecting clothes to (mostly) stay on but Riley’s infatuation will deepen through conversation and making out. We’ll see if I’m right. 🙂

    Really nice work, No One. Please bring some more of this sweet adventure soon!

  8. Erocritique says:

    Totally believable, and so relatable regardless of orientation. If “jealousy” IS the sincerest form of flattery, the. consider yourself flattered No One, because I am soooo jealous of your talent as a writer. I will be eagerly awaiting the final chapter of this wonderful little story.

  9. ME1166 says:

    another great chapter No One, keep up the great work. Will be patiently waiting on the next chapter. Love how the story is building and will hopefully turn into young love.

  10. Brad says:

    This story is just adorable… and I’m sure things are going to really accelerate in part three, but the build up has been heartwarming and very believable! Good job!

  11. No One says:

    Thanks so much everyone. Your comments are very much appreciated, and make the effort worthwhile. Stay tuned for the conclusion to this tale in a few days.

  12. Iceman says:

    Another steamy story. Thank you “NO ONE”,can’t wait for the next chapter.I like the slow build up between the two girls,and despite Riley’s initial concern and uncertainty is becoming more comfortable with the possibility of having a girlfriend. Please hurry with chapter 3.Thank you.

  13. Menzo says:

    I like how romantic this is, rather than just a sex romp. I think it’d be nice if you kept the pace slow. And having read about Sabrina’s bad experiences in the past, I think it’d be nice if the couple were able to be more open about their relationship, and for people to be fairly positive about it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.