White Knight Excerpt
CATHERINE – SIXTEENTH SUMMER
Playground tonight. 10:30pm.
I left him the note inside my racquet case when I took it for restringing. It had been a full week since he touched me in the trees, a week since we’d spoken or since I looked him in the eye.
I’d been avoiding him. He’d said hi a few times and made sure we crossed paths. Once, he stood by the opening in the fence and gestured for me to pass through with him, but I turned and walked the other way.
I’d given him more than I intended up in the tree, and I couldn’t bear it. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. They’d see right into my heart and call me a tramp like they called Marsha. Mom would stop being proud of me, and Dad would be ashamed. Harper would still love me, but what kind of example was I setting?
My shame outweighed my desire for him for five days. By the end of the week, shame was feather-light and desire broke the scales. I handed my racquet through the pro shop window and walked away, holding my breath until my parents went to bed and the house was quiet. I peeled off my nightgown to the clothes underneath and tiptoed out the side door.
My bike leaned up against the house. In the dark, I rode it down the service road to the place where the trees opened to the train tracks, then I left it against a tree.
I never realized crickets were so loud until I had to wonder if they were hiding the sound of my footfalls as I kicked up leaves and needles. I’d entered the deep brush, with the witness of owls and insects. A night creature with little nails scratched and crawled over my feet and made me jump. I hit a spider web and clawed through it as if I were fighting an invisible demon.
I didn’t wonder so much if the animals could see me. I wasn’t that paranoid. But whenever they moved or whenever a cricket jumped, I worried that a person could detect that someone was near and they could find me. Or they could ask me why I was even on this side of town.
I crossed the train tracks, looking both ways as if the freight ran on a thoroughfare. It was a few steps to the rows of mobile homes that defined that side of Barrington.
The playground was in a little clearing just west of the center of the trailers. My fingertips were cold, but the rest of my body thrummed and pulsed so hard that I made my own heat. I told myself I didn’t know what to expect from this meeting, but I knew what to expect, I knew what to hope, and they were pretty much the same thing.
“Catherine!” Chris wasn’t loud, but the excitement in his voice made him sound as if he were shouting.
“Chris?” I spun around, looking for him in the darkness.
And on a three-quarter turn, he crashed into me, all lips and hands, digging his fingertips into the muscles of my back as he pulled me close. I tasted the minty toothpaste in his mouth and thought he brushed his teeth for me. He kissed me as if he would never kiss me again. He kissed me as if this was the last kiss he would ever have in his life. As if he wanted to eat me alive. I’d given over my freedom and my choice to this thing with him, to this moment, to this stupid set of choices that would ruin me forever. As surely as the sun would rise, I was the designer of my own destruction.
I wanted to be destroyed by that kiss.
When Chris took my hand, I imagined I could feel the blood pulsing through the veins, the cells in his skin. I imagined that when my nerve endings vibrated at his touch, they connected to his somehow.
Everything felt new. I was discovering that my body had routes between one place and another that I never knew existed. I never knew that when a man touched my hand or kissed my nipples, I could feel it between my legs.
There was a click behind the tree line, and he stopped kissing me with a jerk. We froze long enough for him to smile.
“I don’t want you to do this anymore,” he said. “It’s not safe.”
“I’ll come to you. Please. I’ve been worried since the sun went down.”
Behind me, a twig snapped and I jumped. “I think I just proved your point.”
“Just a squirrel. Come this way.”
He led me to the play structure, and I giggled as I walked up the plastic ladder. I was so big I barely even needed to hit every step. I didn’t really need him to hold out his hand and help me to the top of the slide. But I took it, because his touch was the spinning center of my curiosity.
The vantage point wasn’t that much better than the ground, but I felt somehow encouraged to look out over the rows of trailers. Most of them had lights on, blue rectangles from flashing TV shows, the shouts, laughs, cries of kids getting ready for bed.
His body pressed me from behind, his hands drifted up and down me. His lips brushed against the back of my neck. My eyes fluttered closed, and I sighed.
When he cupped my breasts over my shirt, I should have been ashamed. I should have run away. But I felt so safe with him. Even when he pressed his pelvis forward and I felt his erection on my bottom. I pushed my hips back against him and he breathed into my neck.
“Catherine, I want to make you come again.”
Even in the tight lasso of his arms, I managed to turn around to face him. “It’s your turn.”
He tilted his head down a little and took my mouth in a kiss that was so much a question, not so much a permission as a demand. And I acquiesced, yielded to him completely. Our knees bent, and he ended up on the small floor, surrounded by gates, under an apparatus where a kid could change the times of day to match the sun and the moon. We barely fit on that little rectangle, but we were so twined up in each other that we didn’t make any kind of reasonable or measurable shape.
“I want you,” he said. “I want you so bad. I don’t know what to do with myself all day. Whenever I feel rose petals, I think of your skin. I smell them, and I think of you. I stick my hands in the soil and think of getting my fingers inside you.”
His words made me nervous. I’d never used words like that, especially with a boy. They seemed dangerous. He must have felt me freeze a little because he took my hand and put it between his legs. My God, he was so hard. I ran my nails along the length of him, through the fabric of his pants. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I must have been doing something right because he let loose a breathy “ah.”
He undid his jeans button, then the zipper, and guided my hand to the skin of him. I couldn’t believe what I was doing and what it was doing to me. I felt how wet I was. The sensation at my core was going to take over and he wasn’t even touching me.
I’m going to do this. I’m going to do what makes him happy.
I wrapped my hand around his shaft, feeling how the thin skin moved against the rigid core. “It’s wet. Did you come already?”
“No, that’s just a little bit that comes out at first.”
With my thumb, I rubbed the liquid around the tip, and he kissed me so hard that my head was pushed up against the plastic floor.
“Move your hand a little bit.” He wrapped his hand around mine and moved up and down. “Like that. Yes.”
“Like this? This feels good?”
“Yes. Like that. You turn me on so much. I’m not going to rush you. I want to get inside you so bad.”
I wanted him inside me. I wanted him to break through, tear me to shreds, open me, but I wasn’t ready. I wanted to feel him in my hand before I felt him in my body.
His hips jerked rhythmically until I didn’t have to move my hand so much. Still kissing me, he jerked back and forth, then he rolled onto his back with me on top of him and pulled up his shirt. We did everything with our lips still connected, as if moving away would break the moment.
He came onto his stomach. I was shocked how much there was, spurting all over him with white arcs in the moonlight.
“Thank you,” he said into my mouth.
I kneeled next to him, the skin of my knees pressed into cold plastic. His bare torso was pooled with semen.
“What are we going to do?”
He dug a tissue out of his pocket and wiped it away. “We’re taking care of you.”
“What do you mean?”
Lazily, his hand drifted to my knee, then up my thigh and under my shorts. He pushed a little. “Spread your knees apart.”
He didn’t wait for me to do it. He slid his fingers under my clothes and touched me where I was wet.
“Oh.” I couldn’t do more than squeak.
His hand wrestled with the shorts and the underwear until he could angle a finger inside me. I exhaled sharply. I’d put my fingers inside before, but when he did it, I couldn’t even think.
“I heard this isn’t what works,” he whispered. “Have you heard about the clitoris?”
“What?” Of course I had, but I didn’t want an anatomy lesson.
“It’s here, I think.” He drew his finger out and up, finding the swollen nub.
“Oh, my God.”
“Wow,” he said in wonderment, running the back of his finger against it as much as he could in the tight space. “Is that it?”
“Does it feel good?”
I fell back on my hands, knees off the floor, with his hand still up my shorts.
He rubbed too hard. Too fast. He was as clumsy and earnest as a teenager.
“I wish I could kiss it,” he said.
And that was it. The thought of his lips sent shockwaves down my spine. I came into his hand.
When he pulled his hand out, he wiped his fingers with the tissue. We lay beside each other and watched the moon cross half the sky before we went home.
That's all for today! I want you to read this book so badly, whether you read King of Code or not, because it speaks to my adolescent heart. I want it to speak to yours, too.
You can preorder White Knight everywhere. If you don't usually read on Amazon, you should pick it up before the March 6th release. After that, and I mean THAT DAY, it's going to be exclusive with Amazon as part of Kindle Unlimited.