He was scared down to his toes.
He tried to convince himself that his fear lay in the old barn and huge cobwebs, but it wasn't working. The early November darkness hovered just outside, kept at bay by an old lantern. He sat down Indian style next to Carrie, who had her skinny legs pulled to her chest, chin resting on knobby knees. On Blair's other side, Margaret Mary sat with long legs stretched out in front of her, an almost sphinx-like smile gracing her features.
Blair looked at Davy, who was downing the last of his soda. It was almost time. In a moment, his life was going to change forever.
Straw swirled up just inside the doors as the wind swept in. The wick in the lantern flickered, then steadied. Davy set the bottle down and favored them with a dentist-perfect smile. Everything about Davy was perfect. Everything about Blair wasn't. He looked at Carrie, who smiled shyly. He smiled back, almost giggled actually, as the lantern light sparkled off her braces.
"You guys ready?" Davy asked.
"Natch. Let's get going," Margaret Mary said.
"You know the rules, right?"
Blair nodded as Carrie mumbled, "I yes."
"Come on, do it."
One of Davy's eyebrows shot up. "You agreed to go first, MM. We'll go clockwise from there."
He put the Coke bottle on its side in the middle of the floor. Margaret Mary got to her knees and gave it a good spin.
Blair found himself holding his breath. He wanted the bottle to stop with its neck pointing at him... yet he prayed it wouldn't. He was fifteen and hoping for his first kiss from Margaret Mary, who was almost two years older. He was pretty sure he loved her.
The bottle slowed and pointed at Carrie.
With a muttered "Damn", she spun again. This time, it stopped where all gods would expect it to in front of Davy. Handsome, seventeen year old Davy.
Margaret Mary met Davy halfway. Their lips touched and Blair's eyes widened as her mouth opened. He could see Davy's tongue flick out and disappear. Would he be expected to put his tongue inside her mouth? Or Carrie's?
"Sandburg, your turn," Davy said.
Blair was suddenly aware of his ratty, worn-at-the-knees jeans and his too-big yellow shirt decorated with mustard from lunch. His hand, almost of its own volition, started for the mass of unruly and frizzy curls, but ended up shoving his glasses back up his nose. Biting his lower lip, he spun the bottle.
It twirled so fast, Blair got dizzy as he tried to focus.
When it stopped, the neck pointed at Carrie. Fate was so predictable.
Thinking she was no more thrilled than he, Blair turned and found her facing him, eyes closed, lips puckered. Questions assailed him. Should he leave his lips open? Inhale or exhale? Close his eyes? He took in Carrie's freckles and heart-shaped lips, took a deep breath, touched his lips to hers and a moment later, was flat on his back, Carrie stuck to him like a vacuum cleaner.
As quickly as it happened, it was over. Carrie scrambled back, face red, hand over her mouth.
"Wow, Carrie, who knew?" Davy said with an appreciative look.
Blair got up, coughed, licked his lips, and ducked his head. He missed the speculative look that crept into Davy's eyes.
Carrie spun the bottle so hard, it almost took off. When it came to rest, Blair held back his groan. It was pointing at him.
Several spins later and Blair had yet to kiss Margaret Mary. If he didn't know better, he'd swear the damn bottle had a mind of its own.
It was Davy's turn again. He spun and the bottle stopped with the neck pointing at him. Blair waited for Davy to take a do-over.
"Wow, I got Sandburg."
"Spin again," Margaret Mary said,
"You know, the rules state that who ever the bottle lands on, you kiss. I think we should follow the rules."
"Meaning?" Margaret Mary asked.
"The bottle landed on Sandburg and I'm going to kiss him."
Blair's head shot up. What? He blinked owlishly from behind his glasses. Davy was going to kiss him?
Smiling, Davy leaned forward and Blair had a moment to think; okay, no big deal, he could do this. He face heated up as Davy's lips landed on his.
They felt nice. Not unlike Carrie's, but there was stubble. He was shocked when Davy's tongue touched his lips. Davy wanted to French kiss him? His jaw automatically loosened and the next thing he knew, Davy's tongue was in his mouth.
The tingling he'd experienced when kissing Carrie turned into fireworks with Davy.
Davy's fingers tangled in his curls and then Davy was gone.
Blair fell back on his butt.
Before anyone could say anything, the wind blew through the barn and the lantern blinked out as dust swirled up around them. Margaret Mary got up, pulled her sweater close and hugged her chest. "We'd better get back. This is, like, scary."
Blair rose awkwardly, his left foot having fallen asleep.
Outside, the wind howled. Blair took another swig of his Coca-Cola. Funny how he always had to have a Coke in weather like this. As he studied the bottle, Jim walked in.
"Colder than a witch's"
"Yeah, yeah, Jim."
Walking over to the fireplace, Jim warmed his hands as he observed, "A Coke, Chief? In this weather?"
A memory came back to Blair, and eyeing the bottle speculatively, he said, "Jim, you want to play Spin-The-Bottle?"
Surprised, Jim turned around and faced his partner. "Did you just say Spin-The-Bottle?"
A wicked gleam in his eyes, Blair licked his lips and said, "I've got the bottle you got the spin?"
Jim studied his partner, and finally said, "Sandburg, I've got a spin that'll set you back on your ass."
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