The Smile

It’s late in the evening. The planets are visible but the stars aren’t yet. I struggle to maintain calm breathing, but my heartbeat is beyond control. I grip my keys tighter and lean against the brick trying to look casual. It’s been a month since I’ve seen her.

We met in a Mexican restaurant a month ago. Free chips, lots of tequila, and all the clichés you could ask for. It was a lunch for veterans of the rugby team. I didn’t join the team till my junior year so I was just a first semester rookie, meeting all the vets for the first time. 

I had been nervous to try out for the rugby team; rugby in general has a reputation for broken bones. But Virginia, my roommate and best friend, convinced me.

“Not all players are locking foreheads and growling at each other.” She laughed after I explained my fears. “There’s 15 players and each number is meant for a certain body type and skill set.” She took a liberal sip from her protein shake. “Like take me for example: I’m short, strong, got soccer experience, and a ‘fuck you’ expression ready to go 24/7. I’m the perfect hooker.”

“Excuse me, what?”

“The hooker,” Virginia explained, “is the name for the #2 jersey position. They hook the ball into the scrum.”

“Do all the positions sound sexual?” I asked.

“But you,” Virginia went on, ignoring my question, “I’d put you in 9 or 10. They’re the wingers.”

“What’s that mean?”

“You just catch the ball, run around like a gazelle, and score points.”

I like running and African wildlife. I agreed to try out. 

Two weeks later we found ourselves at the re-welcome dinner for the visiting vets. I felt outclassed by a lot of them; they all seemed to have a coolness factor that had always evaded me. Especially Avery. Long, dark hair held back in casual disarray. Nerdy glasses posed precariously on her forehead. Lithe, muscular form meant for running, barely hidden by a plain white t-shirt. She had a way of smiling that forced you to smile back.

I catch her eye.

“I hear you used to play winger? Any tips?”

She holds my gaze. Light brown eyes. Deep and penetrating. I notice her right eye is lighter than her left.

“You’re the one taking over my position? I’m glad you weren’t on the team last year. We would have been rivals.” She smiles and I have to smile back.

“You know,” Virginia interjects from my right, “Stace here scored 2 tries in her first game last weekend.”

Avery raises her eyebrows at me—both in acknowledgement of the obvious wingwoman attempt and, presumably, at the 14 points I scored. “A worthy opponent!” She says. “I look forward to seeing you in action tomorrow afternoon.”

In my tequila happiness, I had mostly forgotten about the informal rookie vs. vets game in the morning. I make a mental note to stop ordering drinks immediately.

Avery doesn’t seem to make any such vow, but she’s still on the pitch bright-eyed the next day. She’s chatting with the other vets on her makeshift team—possibly working on strategy—probably just catching up. 

Virginia notices me staring. “You should just tackle her in the game,” she offers, “and then stick your tongue in her mouth.”

I look disdainfully over to her. “Thank you, Gina, for that insight.”

“Could really release some of this sexual tension.”

She raises her eyebrows suggestively and pulls her scrumcap over her head without another word.

I figure out before it’s too late that the tradition is to let the vets win in these annual games. In fact, the score is barely even tracked. It’s fun. Everyone is just there to support each other and no one really cares about the points. Avery and I are playing opposite ends of the field so there’s no opportunity to pursue Virginia’s suggestion. But afterwards we all go to the captain’s apartment for the start of a daylong party.

It follows the typical formula: beer pong, flip cup, quarters, kings cup, gossip, talking about our feelings, challenges to do shots, singing rugby songs. But when we drew lots, I came up as one of the designated drivers for the day, so I’m barely involved. I hang out on the sidelines, watching everyone get steadily more stupid as the day evolves and making more and more trips to people’s homes as the night arrives.

I feel an arm around my shoulders and look up to see Avery next to me. She’s taller than I realized. “Wanna drive me back to Mary Beth’s? Heard you were the woman to ask.”

“One of them, yeah. Let’s go.” I say. (“Before anyone else joins the carpool” I think to myself.)

Avery plops heavily down into the passenger seat of my Prius, head leaned back on the shoulder rest, eyes closed, and sighs.

“You doing okay?” I ask.

“Yeah, I’m cool. You know, I just get really into parties. Like I hyperfocus on them and really drain myself.”

“Hyperfocus?”

“It’s like the opposite of distracted. It’s an ADHD thing.”

“Gotcha, gotcha…” I make a mental note to Google this later. I’m driving with one hand and Avery reaches over to hold my right hand as it’s on the arm rest. I glance over, she still looks pretty out of it. 

“I’m gonna need this to drive,” I say, indicating my hand.

“So responsible,” she murmurs and puts her hand on my shoulder instead. 

We ride in a comfortable silence, just listening to music. When we get to Mary Beth’s where she’s staying, I walk her to the door. She hands me her phone.

“Here, put your number in. I want to text you when I’m sober so I can make a good third impression.” She smiles that smile—somehow charming even when drunk.

I smile back. “Okay. I’ll hold you to that.” I enter myself as a contact, text myself a smiley face, and hand her phone back. She double checks my work for mistakes and, seemingly satisfied, knocks on the door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


“Do you have any plans to revisit your alma mater?” I text her, after a few weeks of correspondence that has recently gotten slightly sexy. I look it over. Sounds more casual than I feel. “I’d like to see you again.” I send. I look it over again. Maybe too desperate? Well, too late to change it now. I move to drop my phone on the bed, but it vibrates in my hand.

“It’s like you can read my mind.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I struggle to maintain calm breathing, but my heartbeat is beyond control. Did I somehow manage to give her the wrong address? Am I wearing the right type of outfit? Should I have bought some special food or some wine or a back up toothbrush? I shift my position and scan the parking lot again. She’s here.

She parks and steps out. She’s so tall. “Avery!” I call, taking a few steps forward, unsure of how many steps is an un-awkward amount. Our eyes meet. My heart skips.

She slings a backpack over one shoulder, slams the door, and comes over to me. 

“Hey, Stace. Good to see you.” She hugs me—two arms—longer than is customary. I pull back.

“Let me, uh, show you the apartment.”

“Okay.”

I take her by the hand. She squeezes it. I lead her through the lobby, up the stairs, and up the stairs again to the 3rd floor. 

“Here, it’s 319.”

“My favorite number” she jokes. I glance up to roll my eyes instinctively but she seems to have intended that. She’s leaning one shoulder against the door and staring at me – a cocky smile on her lips but always kind eyes. I unlock the door but don’t open it yet. It’s hard to look away. I take a breath and find some courage.

“Hey, can I kiss you?”

“Yes, please.”

I step forward, left hand on her waist. Our lips meet. I breathe deep and run the fingers of my right hand through her hair. Her lips are soft. And I can feel them stretching into a smile in between each kiss. I pull back and notice I’ve been on my toes.

“You’re too tall,” I say accusatorily.

“You won’t notice when we’re laying down.” Avery replies.

Well, that backfired. I squint my eyes at her and open the door. Tossing my keys into the basket, I turn around to motion her through but she’s already in. She drops her backpack carelessly on the floor and moves forward to kiss me. The door falls shut behind her and I feel off balance, but her arms wrap around me, steadying. 

I get that feeling of having goosebumps combined with an elevator dropping too quickly. She pushes me backward against the wall. Her right hip is in between my legs. A gentle but constant pressure.

I slide my hands under her t-shirt and run my fingers over her ribs and stomach.  Her muscles are tight, working. She’s using them to grind into me. Her torso is moving like a wave. I pull her body closer to mine.

“How attached are you to this shirt?” she murmurs.

“Not.”

She pulls it up over my head and lets it drop to the carpet. I put my hands on the back of Avery’s neck. “Let’s go to my bed.” I say.

She nods. “Point the way.” But then she leans down slightly and lifts me up. She’s holding me in a sort of reverse piggyback. Surprised, I laugh, and wrap my legs around her waist tightly. I point behind me to my bedroom door. “The second one.”

“And how do you feel about the rest of what you’re wearing?” she asks as she pushes through the door I indicated.

“Just take it all off.” It feels nice to be asked. She sets me on the edge of the bed, leaning over to kiss me as she strips me down.

Seemingly unused to my type of bra, it takes Avery a minute before she’s extricated me from a second article of clothing. Her dark eyebrows furrow as she finally pulls the contraception off and drops it to the ground.

“Fuck.” Avery whispers “Your nipples harden so easily. I like it.”

Not normally, I think to myself pointlessly. But she’s already wrapped her lips around one – flicking her tongue up and down with inhuman precision.

The situation is too imbalanced.

I grab her waist and roll her over underneath me in a swift motion.

“I thought I was in control,” she mutters between kisses.

“Don’t underestimate me,” I give her a final push to the core and she relaxes back onto the bed. “I’ve given this a lot of thought.” I start to unbutton her jeans. Then I stop. “Can I take these off?” I ask.

“Yeah,” she smiles.

I pull down the zipper and pull the legs off one by one.  I can smell that she’s wet already and I kiss her again as I slide my hand down her boxers.

“Let’s just be naked.” Avery suggests, breathlessly.

“I agree.”

I start to oblige and pull down her boxers. She smiles and begins to graze her fingernails over my back. It’s an immediate heightener. I have to pause for a second to try to focus.

“I want you to fuck me, Stacy…”

Something clicks in my brain. I focus. I peel away the remainder of her clothes effortlessly and move closer again to run my tongue along the length of her slit. She inhales suddenly and her body stutters.

Wind in my sails.

I lick her again long and slowly. The taste is overpowering. Like the ocean.

She wraps her fingers around the back of my head. Not desperate, but urgent. I exhale cool air onto her clit and then suck it into my mouth—rubbing that sensitive bit between my tongue and the roof of my mouth again and again. Avery’s breathing speeds up and she’s starting to murmur my name. But it isn’t enough.

I take a second break to suck on my middle finger—make it wet before sliding it into her. She inhales again. 

Slowly, I slide my finger in and out as I apply pressure to her clit with my tongue. She starts to arch her back and that’s my sign to insert my index finger as well. Slowly, but confidently, I curl my two fingers upwards to find her G-spot.

Avery’s thighs start to twitch and her breathing becomes deeper. More honest. I speed up my pace ever so slightly. And begin to move my tongue in a counterclockwise circle around her clit in a steady rhythm. I feel the alertness in her body. She arches and shudders and moans. The moans are what really drive me. It’s only a few more moments before she comes. Her climax is ending and Avery grabs my jaw with both hands and pulls me to her.

“Come here,” she manages to get out before she’s kissing me. Her tongue lightly traces my upper lip and I’m completely lost.

Avery rolls me over. Her brown eyes get an intense look and she’s moving her torso in a wave against my core again.

“You said you wanted to be naked.” She motions almost, but not quite, apologetically as she pulls my thong down. The moment the tip of Avery’s tongue makes contact with my clit, I react and I buck up instinctively.

“Do you need a break?” Avery asks.

“No, don’t stop.”

She doesn’t. She grabs my hips and forces them back down onto the bed, and her tongue makes contact almost immediately. She switches from tongue to teeth and back again as she reaches one arm up to my sternum and keeps me pushed down into the mattress.

I feel the pleasure building within me. Soon it’s undeniable. I pull a pillow over my mouth to muffle my moans as she fucks me. My body starts shaking and then I’m over the edge. My body tense, my breath held, my fingers in her hair, my back arching against her hand. 

Then I relax and breathe again.

Avery climbs up my body and rests her head on my chest and her hand on my stomach. I wrap my arms around her.

“Do you want to come again?” Avery asks.

“Yeah, just… give me a minute,” I say. My body is still shuttering intermediately. “I’m glad you stopped by.” I say. I kiss her forehead. She tightens her hold on me. 

“Me too.” She smiles.

And I have to smile back.

Vanilla, QueerTaylormain