by Beth C.

It was just a kiss.

Okay, it wasn't just a kiss, it was a earth-shaking, perfect, gorgeous moment. Despite the beer on my breath, and the garlic on his since he puts too much garlic on everything, it was perfect. He tasted like the way it feels to slip your hand into a worn baseball mitt; soft and smooth and like it's built just to fit you. Casey felt like God built him for me. Maybe in a past life I was really good and you get a Casey for being well behaved. It was either that or I was a Puritan and Satan put Casey here to corrupt me in this life, because some of the fantasies I've had about Casey would put me in jail in at least half of the United States.

I sound foolish but oh well, if Casey McCall had kissed you, you'd be just as foolish.

He was just there in front of my apartment. A grin on his face, a six-pack in one hand, and a pizza in the other, asking me to let him in. My dad always told me to never turn down a blonde bearing pizza and beer. Actually that was my frat brother that told me that, but it's still good advice even if it comes from a man who went by the name of the Nude Viking and likes to streak across the campus in the middle of January. "I knew you'd be home Danny, and there's a Mets game on," he smiled in that way he smiles that makes my heart skip like a preteen looking at her poster of N'Sync, "I thought we might watch it."

I invited him in, and we sat in our places. Spaced far enough apart on the couch that I can't smell his scent of laundry softner and pure sex and I don't get that urge to jump him and act like my old dog Sparky before he had the operation.I sit on the right, he sits on the left. My third beer perched in it's usual place precariously close to the edge on the armrest next to me. Casey usually reminds me midway through the game to put it on the table next to me, or I'll stain the couch, but I never listen and keep it right in it's place. He's only on his first and it's only half way done, sitting on the coffee table on the only coaster in my house. I think he actually brings his own coaster, because I have no recollection of every buying or recieving a set of coasters. We make conversation about the game, jokes about how on even our day off we're still workings, and idle speculations about when Dana is going to cave in and date him.

You get so used to a certain way of acting that one change is weird. We're usually like actors, hitting our mark on stage and never deviating from the director's vision. But he wasn't in his place that day. Everything was the same, except his eyes weren't on the TV. Usually, there is no eye contact. We stare straight ahead; watching the game and not each other. Then it happened and our new roles were built. Well, actually, I don't know what my role is yet. But we had new postions in each other lives. We were always were each other's "call in case of an emergency" person, but now he was kissing me, and I was kissing him, and I was touching him, and I was wondering whether I prefer the term "boyfriend", "partner", or "signifcant other."

But now it's Monday, and we're in our office, and we're in our old places, but they aren't our own places, they are different. They are different to me, but I don't think they are different to anyone else. I'm at my desk, and he's at his desk; and all I want is that kiss again. But he is typing, and not talking and I'm worried and telling myself it was just a kiss.

I think the man just has evil powers, that has made me into some sappy, rambling idiot. I try to glance at him to get a smile, but I don't get anything. I don't know whether to cry or yell or throw myself out of the building. Instead I fall back into place, and ask him something work related. I don't really know what, but he answers with a smile and begins a converstaion about boxing.

"I'm lean, I'm quick, and no one could defeat me. I'm the world's greatest. And that's why I should be a boxer," he smiles, and I melt.

"Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me," I repeat my mantra in my head, hoping to death that suddenly I've mutated and can control his actions.

Things are quiet for a few moments after he finishes his small speech about why he could beat Ali, and he stands and walks to my desk. Then I have it again. His lips are on mine, and I remember why I renounced women the moment he accidently touched my thigh in an elevator. Perhaps my ESP powers have truly improved and now I have control over all men. But then if that were the case, we'd be wearing less clothing and doing something more then just kissing.

But then he stops and I start to protest before I see his eyes. He has the same look in his eyes he gets everytime he thinks we need to have a serious conversation. "Things aren't the same between us anymore." All I want are lips, and hands, and skin, and he wants to use this time to break my heart. "I don't know if this will work." Turn the knife Casey, turn the knife, kiss me and then kill me. "But we'll try. I do love you."

And with that I have lips again, and they're perfect, and sweet, and everything I ever wanted.


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