My first post at DW! Hello!
This is for addie71
, on the occasion of her birthday. (The title is a prompt from a drabble box, and will probably change eventually.)Tease
Casey kept his gaze down as his feet crunched through the light snow, his breath puffing crystalline, and smiled to himself at the sound of Mother's engine as the GTO roared off into the night. The taste of Zeke's mouth, with that dusty tobacco tang, was still on his, and he'd almost reached the back gate when he looked up and stopped with a painful start - Claire Stanton leaned against the jamb of the back fence gate, smoking a cigarette. A wicked smile curled her lips as she looked past him at the receding taillights, and then down at his flushed face. She'd always reminded him of Shelley Winters, especially in that Lolita
movie. Maybe that was the reason he'd never trusted her - she had an air of knowing everyone's secrets that put him on edge.
And with that knowing look, she pushed away from the gate and leaned her face towards his. Feeling a thread of panic, Casey almost pulled back, but Claire only sniffed lightly at his hair and neck, then straightened up, looking like a cat with a canary under its paw.
"Casey," she purred, shaking her head. Then she took a long drag off her cigarette and leaning in again, blew the smoke in a thin stream over the front of his shirt and up over his hair. Straightening up, her smile was softer.
"Lucky for you I decided I needed a smoke," she said. She took his chin lightly in her hand, and Casey had to clamp down to keep from trembling. She moved her thumb gently near his lips. "So," she said, and a dark grey roar filled his head at her next question, "is he a good kisser?"Oh god, oh fuck me,
his brain stammered and stuck there, fear chittering like an insect behind his eyes. He managed to stay still, he didn't know how but he did. He could feel his skin burning, but the air was biting cold so maybe that wasn't so suspicious. More it was that look in her eye, like she knew exactly what was going on. Goddammit, Connor,
he thought desperately, you had
one job to do
He opened his mouth, not knowing what he could say. Not like this,
he thinks, terrified at the humiliation of being exposed by his mother's friend ten feet from the kitchen door. But Claire gave a little laugh, let go of his chin, and instead stroked his hair from his forehead with her fingertips.
"My brother fell in love when he was seventeen," she whispered. "He had to leave town because of it. I haven't seen him in twenty years." She smiled sadly and touched the tip of his nose. "Your secret's safe with me, Casey."
Rigid from the effort of keeping calm, he let out a long breath and closed his eyes. "Thank you," he murmured, opening his eyes, and suddenly he was sorry he ever mistrusted this woman, with her candy-hard shell that turned out to hide a butter-soft heart. Just like Shelley Winters.
"Claire, I -" he began, but she shook her head and shushed him.
"I just hope he treats you right," she said. "Go on inside now." Casey ducked his head and walked into the yard, headed for the back door, "and Casey?" he stopped.
A huff as she blew smoke out. "You let me know if he doesn't." Casey held his breath, thrown off for a moment by the feel of someone he hardly even knew having his back. After a moment, he nodded, and went inside.
Chapter 43 of High Contrast