The room was filled with old electronic equipment.
“Yeah,” she sighed, smiling slightly. “This was one of my favorite places. I was a nerd. I was in the AV club.”
“Really?” she said, not believing me at all. “I mean, you seem so…cool.”
Her little frown pulled her eyebrows into a V shape and it was so cute that it made me laugh.
“I was a teenager. I liked electronics,” I explained. “Still do. It’s not so nerdy to want to have surround sound and a big TV in my view.”
“I guess not, but I felt kind of nerdy in the club,” she said. “I mean, I wore glasses, got good grades and won a spelling bee.”
I hated how sad she looked. Not thinking, I reached over and put my hands on her waist. Carina quickly looked up into my eyes.
“Being a nerd or not is just about attitude. You can be a nerd football player or a badass AV club member,” I explained. “It’s all in how you carry yourself.”
She opened her mouth to retort but then closed it quickly. As we kept staring into each other’s eyes, the moment started to feel a little heated.
“You’re not what I expected at all, Leo,” she whispered.
“I don’t know. When I hired you as an escort, I just expected someone… kind of sleazy, I guess. You seem so normal and down-to-Earth.”
Her words made me grin.
“I try. Truth be told, I don’t want to do this forever,” I admitted. “In fact, I want to get out of this as soon as possible. As soon as I’m a lawyer, I am so done.”
She turned so that I had to release my grip on her waist.
“That seems sensible,” Carina noted. “You have a plan. I wish I had planned my life better.”
I leaned against the wall next to her not wanting to be too far away. Part of me wished I could hold her.
“What’s so wrong with it? You’re a teacher in New York. Seems like a solid job.”
“It’s okay and I enjoy teaching the kids but, I don’t know, I feel a little unfulfilled. Like there’s more to life and I’m missing it, ya know?”
“Yeah, I think we all feel that way sometimes,” I agreed. “But we’re here now and we can have some fun.” I grinned at her trying to make her smile.
“I hired you. It’s not the same,” she said, looking away embarrassed.
“No, but I like you,” I admitted. “Believe me, I don’t say that to every woman I’ve been hired to work for. I mean, none of them really. You’re very attractive. Most of the women that hire me are old and not physically attractive at all.”
“Do you have… sex with them?”
“Oh, no-no-no,” I laughed. “That is not on the menu with me. That’s not what they want anyway. Most of them just want companionship, someone to listen to them and hold their hand. Someone to take them out dancing or to dinner.”
“Oh. Good,” she said, relieved.
Coyly, she bit her lip and glanced up at me. Her look made the desire in my veins come to a boil. I couldn’t resist this girl.
“Don’t take this the wrong way,” I began, not even sure of what I was saying. “But I would make an exception for you.”
She laughed and blushed.
“Really? You’re not just saying that?”
“No-no, believe me. I find you very attractive. If we had met under different circumstances, I am sure I would’ve been right there to ask you out,” I explained.
I leaned closer. The light was perfect across her face. I could see her smooth skin, her eyelashes and her deep blue eyes. There was a strand of hair going across her face and I moved it gently aside.
“You really mean that?” she asked with desperation in her voice.
“I do,” I said leaning in.
I kissed her and in that moment something had changed. Carina had gone from a client to something else. And I knew, as we kissed, I had to try and make this work. Even if it was just for one night, I had to have her.
It was now or never. Carina was far too self-conscious. If she had time to over think the situation, she’d turn away. She’d be too embarrassed.
For a second, she pushed away.
“I’m not sure…”
“Carina, please, don’t push me away,” I whispered. “Let me in. Don’t close off your heart to something you can feel is real.”
She leaned back in and we started kissing again. This time, her kisses were hungrier and more sensual. Carina pushed me against the lockers and started unbuttoning my shirt.
For a moment, we had forgotten where we were kissing. She stopped and grabbed my hand.
“Come on,” she said. “Follow me.”
We moved into the girl’s bathroom on the other side of the school. It hadn’t changed a bit since I went to school there. There was still the same graffiti on the windowsill and the walls, only lightly painted over. The same smell of cleaning fluid permeated my nostrils as we stepped inside.