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Thank you so much for the comments and votes! I know this installment took longer, but between holidays and family it was difficult to get the girls from my head and onto the page. I’d love to know what you think, so please comment and vote!
JJ drove them to a small bar near the center of town. Ashley was familiar with it, but had never gone inside. She was pleasantly surprised by the warm, tasteful furnishings. Wood gleamed under the florescent lights, tables spread throughout while the bar had tall stools pushed underneath. Posters advertising various beers hung on the walls. Televisions mounted on the walls silently displayed sports games or current events.
Ashley waited until they were seated at the far end of the bar and had been served before she started in on JJ.
“Okay, I need an explanation. I know you said you’re fine, but damn JJ. One minute you’re crying and the next you’re all smiles. What’s going on?” Ashley kept her voice low to avoid attention from the regulars.
JJ shrugged and took a long drink off her beer. “I just put myself in Mack’s shoes. I’d never thought of things from his side. How much loosing Emily messed him up. That pretty much ate up all the anger I had left.”
“So now you’re fine?” Ashley clarified, taking smaller sips form her drink.
“Mostly. Enough that I can take you out for a fun day like I wanted to.” JJ grinned over at Ashley who gave JJ a serious look. JJ rolled her eyes and sighed. “I’m fine, I promise. Yes, I was a balling mess for a bit there, but I’m fine now. I don’t dwell on things.”
“You realize I’m not going to let you out of my sight now, right?” Ashley teased, giving JJ a squinty eye.
JJ laughed, a real laugh that had Ashley smiling widely in response. “That’s fine with me. Kinda how I had the evening planned out in my head.”
“How so?” Ashley began picking at the corner of her beer label, already curling and damp from the condensation.
“I knew you were coming home today. I wanted to surprise you and go have fun out somewhere, like we used to. Take over the arcade or go roller skating. Just have fun.” Maybe it was the endorphins from her crying spell surging all over the place but JJ felt good. Happy. Elated almost.
“We still can, I mean, the day’s still young. I’ll do anything but roller skating though.” Ashley blushed and sipped her beer, an IPA that JJ had never heard of, Dogfish Namaste.
“Why no roller skating? I remember you being pretty good at it before. Maybe a little wobbly on turns.” JJ thought back, trying to figure out why Ashley would be hesitant for that particular activity.
“JJ, I was more than a little wobbly. I look like an old lady trying to walk, not like a certified athlete who just can’t get the hang of skating.” Ashley blushed.
“Damn. Don’t let anyone else hear you say that. You’ll have all the ladies from the bowling alley out for blood.” JJ giggled, which just made Ashley blush harder. “Would you go if I offered to help you get the hang of it?”
Ashley had a flash of them together, like a scene in one of those romantic comedies that Sarah and Brenda loved. JJ would hold her hand and gently guide her around, catching her when she slipped, staring into her eyes as she righted Ashley. Their natural chemistry would create a tension and they’d turn a simple day out as friends into a date.
Ashley wasn’t sure how to feel about this. She didn’t want to make this into something more and risk losing JJ as her best friend. Unfortunately, she was having a hard time forgetting being with JJ at the club. The fact that she and JJ had been intimate had been a shock at the time, but the alcohol and JJ’s own reaction to them had pushed her feelings and concerns to the back burner.
Everything came back to the fore when she’d gotten home that night. On a purely physical level, it had been one of the best sexual experience of Ashley’s life. Only one of the boys she’d dated had ever been allowed to take things that far and been successful. Granted, she’d been looking for something physical when she’d gone to the club but Ashley had never intended to actually let someone, male or female, get as far as JJ did.
On an emotional level the experience rocked Ashley to her core. Not only had she allowed a stranger to bring her to orgasm, she’d done it in an incredibly public place. And it hadn’t been a stranger, it had been JJ. Tears had come and gone as Ashley had come to terms with various feelings, confusion, pleasure, embarrassment, shame, longing.
Confusion because she had thought herself straight, despite her early experiences with JJ. Those were simply childhood experimentations. Right?
Pleasure because Ashley had never had such a powerful physical reaction to another person before and it had filled her with wonder and euphoria. The memories were still just as powerful.
The embarrassment and shame went hand in hand with how forward she’d been with JJ. Not only had she approached JJ, but she had pulled her off the floor first. It had been her who lost control and came all over JJ’s casino şirketleri leg. She couldn’t lay all the blame for that on the alcohol. She had wanted what JJ had been offering.
The longing was nothing new, but it had been intensified after that night. Longing to be held close to another. Longing to give and receive pleasure. Longing to love another person as deeply and as thoroughly as she could.
It had taken a few days for these emotions to mellow out, but they were not forgotten, not by a long shot. Ashley was doing her best to enjoy her time with JJ but this plan to spend the day together had her focusing on the memory of JJ’s body against her own. Ashley swallowed against the sudden thickness in her throat and glanced over her drink at JJ.
“I’ll go, but if I fall, then we do something else.” Ashley watched JJ’s hair fall forward only to be combed back by JJ’s fingers.
“Deal. Drink up, we’re going skating!” JJ grinned, lifting her drink to her lips.
“Oh, this is a bad idea.” Ashley groaned, hobbling along the carpet to the edge of the rink.
They’d finished their beers and JJ had driven them to the roller skating rink, a big plain building with the same sign from about forty years ago. The entrance was a cramped mishmash of color and noise, like you’ve walked into a circus instead. The concession stand dominated the middle of the floor with skate rental off to the immediate right, neighbored by the prize center. All along the back wall stood various arcade style games, most of them highly popular in the 90s. And off center to the right, taking up the majority of space, was the rink with its old waxed wood floor.
JJ joined Ashley at the edge, seeming much more confident and relaxed in her borrowed skates. “You’ll be fine. There’s almost no one else here.”
True enough, there were five other people skating right now. “Yeah, but that’s kinda the point. Less people, more attention on me.” Ashley hissed as an older couple swept past them with a grace and ease that Ashley envied.
“No one is going to care Ashley. C’mon scaredy pants. Let’s go.” JJ gave Ashley a shove, none to gently. Ashley yelped and rolled into the rink, JJ’s hand on her back keeping her upright.
Ashley glared back at JJ. “Dammit JJ, what was that for?” she hissed again, whispering to avoid attention.
JJ didn’t reply, smiling instead at the two parents who were busy teaching their little boy how to skate. The dad looked over as they passed, smiling back.
“I can’t help you improve if you don’t show me how bad you are.” JJ skated around to face Ashley, her arms crossed over her chest. “Now stop complaining and skate, woman.”
They made half a circuit before JJ had a hard time keeping a straight face. Ashley was shuffling her feet along, almost making more progress backwards than forward. Needless to say, it was slow going and painful to watch. All her athletic prowess as a runner and Ashley couldn’t seem to coordinate her legs to skate.
“Quit laughing at me. I told you it was a bad idea.” Ashley grumbled, staring down at her feet, arms held stiffly in front of her to meet any obstacles.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was this bad.” JJ managed to avoid laughing, but couldn’t keep a smile off her face. “Okay, okay. Let’s start from the beginning. Whoa.” JJ grabbed Ashley’s hands to stop her, Ashley jerking upright and nearly toppling. JJ pulled Ashley’s arms closer, shifting Ashley’s balance back over her center of gravity.
“You make me fall, we’ll be done and you owe me dinner.” Ashley let go of JJ’s hands and wiped her sweaty palm on her thighs.
“Yes ma’am. Now, instead of shuffling along, try pushing off with your foot. Like you’re pushing a scooter or a skateboard.” JJ instructed, rolling to Ashley’s side to watch.
Ashley pushed, surprised when she rolled forward easily. “Oh hey!”
“Good. Relax your knees a little. Keep ’em springy, not like limp noodles.” JJ kept pace with Ashley, an arm extended to catch the blonde if necessary. “Switch feet when you push. Left, then right.”
Ashley did as directed, pushing one foot right after the other. She sped up, her hair lifting in the wind she’d created. Her knees immediately locked and she veered away towards the outer wall.
JJ’s hands found Ashley’s sides, guiding her away from the wall. “Goddamn, woman. Relax those knees. Push when you start to lose momentum, not one immediately after the other.”
“Sorry. I’m nervous about this.” Ashley muttered, ignoring the butterflies that started fluttering in her belly even after JJ removed her hands.
“Let’s try another loop around, then we can take a break. Sound good?” JJ asked, skating around to Ashley’s left.
True to JJ’s word, they made one more complete circuit then veered back to the carpet and the bench where they’d put their skates on. JJ shrugged out of her leather jacket and pushed her hair back again. Ashley just sat back, slouching against the bench.
“You’re improving already.” JJ noted, leaning back, an arm stretched along the back casino firmaları of the bench.
Ashley gave JJ a half-hearted glare. “Ha, yeah right.”
JJ tugged on a curl, watching it spring back. “I’m serious. You’ve got a natural athletic ability. You’ll pick this up easily if you keep practicing. I bet you had to work at being such an excellent runner. This is no different. Well, more fun probably.” JJ added.
“Running is like breathing for me. I don’t have to think about it. Coach Perking realized this really quickly and started working on my diet instead of pushing me to improve my times. We work more with strategy than making me run faster. I can put on more speed easy.” Ashley wasn’t bragging. She sometimes hated having a specific strategy for working around the other runners. She just wanted to run, fast and free from the starting line to the finish.
“Does the diet really improve your running?” JJ asked, genuinely curious.
“It does. I shaved about three seconds off my best times. Basically it’s taken all the fat out of my body and turned me into an extremely well-oiled and efficient machine. I eat enough to fuel myself through a day without gaining anything.” Ashley sighed, laying her head back on the bench.
JJ frowned. “Is it healthy to be at zero body fat? I thought that some fat was necessary.”
Ashley rolled her head to look at JJ while she talked. “It is, which is why I’m not at my leanest. I will be soon, since track season is picking up now. And you don’t really have much room to gripe about my body fat.”
JJ didn’t know what to say to that, which seemed clear from her expression. Ashley blushed as she explained herself. “I’ve seen your arms and felt your abs. There’s no way you’re above like a five percent body fat ratio.”
“Oh.” JJ looked down at her stomach, flat and slender. “I don’t really do anything to stay lean. I mean, I used to lift weights. Now I do all kinds of body weight stuff since I haven’t exactly had time to go to the gym. I wanted muscles, not to be super lean or anything.”
Ashley gave JJ a once over, then sat up. “I think I’m ready for more torture.”
JJ followed Ashley back onto the floor and followed her around a few more laps, offering small tips here and there, but overall just skating next to Ashley. They had the entire rink to themselves, the older couple and the family having left while Ashley and JJ were talking.
“I think you’ve got the hang of this. Told you there wasn’t anything to worry about.” JJ teased, coming in close enough to nudge Ashley with her elbow.
Ashley nudged back, smiling over her shoulder “Okay, you were right. If I get through this without falling, then dinner is on me.”
“Agreed!” JJ grinned, pushing forward and skating her way around the rink ahead of Ashley, watching an influx of employees heading to the concessions and checking the games, preparing for the anticipated rush of kids who’d be getting out of school soon.
It was clear the DJ had arrived when music began playing, startling both girls. JJ spun around and skated backwards, bopping along to the techno that blared from the speakers. Ashley couldn’t help but giggle, seeing JJ act so silly. The last time she’d seen JJ this relaxed had been when they were kids. She made a mental note to update the girls when they all talked next. She giggled and looked down at her feet. They should know she could skate now.
JJ was coming up behind Ashley when the music changed to Disney tunes. A silly idea popped into JJ’s head and with a sly grin, she came up right behind Ashley. JJ’s hands settled around the blonde’s narrow waist before she started singing along, crooning in Ashley ear in a parody of the singer’s voice. “I can show you the world. Shining, shimmering, splendid. Tell me princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?”
Ashley gasped then giggled, startled by the awareness that shot along her spine before settling deep in her belly. Goosebumps flared up and she was hyper aware of the warmth and strength in JJ’s hands. She glanced sidelong at JJ, who was still singing in her ear. She joined in when the duet began, “A whole new world. A dazzling place I never knew. But when I’m way up here, it’s crystal clear that now I’m in a whole new world with you.”
The lyrics and their meaning weren’t lost on Ashley. She was too aware of her fledgling feelings towards JJ to miss that, even if JJ was just goofing around. Ashley could feel JJ smile against her cheek, a smile spreading across her own face as she kept singing along. “Unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings. Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky.”
It happened in a flash, both of them trying to turn to face the other and their skates knocked, the wheels locking for an instant. It was just long enough to send them both down.
“Fucking shit!” Ashley cursed, tipping forward into JJ who caught her as they fell. Somehow JJ managed to roll them to the floor, avoiding a jarring landing and a nasty impact between head and hardwood.
Their momentum slid them güvenilir casino a short ways along the floor before they came to a slow stop. Ashley lay where she was, clutched tightly to JJ’s chest. Her heart was beating frantically and it felt like the world was shaking. It only took her a few seconds to realize it was JJ shaking with laughter. Ashley pushed herself up, one hand on the floor and the other on JJ’s shoulder.
“You tripped me! I was doing so well too.” Ashley managed to sit up straddling JJ’s thighs, her knees on either side of JJ.
“I think we tripped each other.” JJ was taking deep breaths to stop her laughter. It wasn’t working too well. “I’m not sure that a Disney Princess should know words like the ones you said.”
“Whatever. We’re done with skating for today. And you totally owe me dinner.” Ashley stuck her fists on her hips, staring down at JJ with a pout. She’d been enjoying her new found talent for skating and their silly duet.
“Whoa, no. I said I’d get dinner if you fell on your ass. Clearly, you didn’t.” JJ looked up at Ashley, who took stock of their position. A memory of their last summer together suddenly flooded JJ’s mind, their game of tag at the park that had ended up like this, Ashley on top of her. JJ pushed those thoughts aside, resting her hands on Ashley’s knees to encourage the younger girl to get up.
Ashley slid off JJ in a clatter of skates. “Fine, I didn’t fall on my butt. What do you want to do now?” She brushed dirt from the knee of her leggings.
JJ sat up and shrugged. “It’s up to you. I don’t really know what there is to do around here anymore, but I’m up for the arcade, or a movie. There’s always the amusement park at the mall. Maybe check out the library.”
“The library? What could we possibly do there?” Ashley teased, pushing herself up, rolling a bit with her own momentum.
JJ pushed to her feet and followed Ashley onto the carpet. “Uh, I don’t know. Read? Isn’t that what most people do there?”
Ashley rolled her eyes and sat to untie her skates. “Yes, reading and being quiet. I don’t want to sit around and be quiet, not when we could go have fun somewhere else and be as loud as we wanted.”
It took some effort, but JJ didn’t turn Ashley’s statement into a dirty joke. Instead she traded her skates for shoes and slipped back into her jacket. “Well, it’s still your choice what we do next, since I picked this.”
They were back in the cab of JJ’s truck when Ashley announced her decision. “I want to go to the amusement park. There are arcades inside, but I want to go on the rides.”
“Roller coaster rides it is!” JJ grinned, firing up the big truck.
The amusement park took up a relatively small space across from the mall. It had enjoyed huge popularity during the 80s and 90s, but had become less popular, the small area not allowing new, larger rides. The newest ride, a vertical drop, was already seven years old, and its hype had died down after the first two.
JJ paid their admission, picking out two unlimited ride passes. The bored kid at the admission counter didn’t look up from his phone during the entire transaction, taking the cash and pushing two passes under the glass.
Ashley showed JJ how to slip the passes into the plastic sleeve on a cheap vinyl lanyard. She explained how they’d come up with this system to avoid cards getting wet, lost, or stolen and reused.
“Super high-tech, these.” JJ remarked sarcastically, hanging her pass around her neck.
“They’ve had a tight budget. They do what they can.” Ashley sagely mused, lifting her hair so the string lay against her neck.
“Where to first?” JJ asked, looking up at the rundown directional board.
“The big one first. The one with the loop-de-loop.” Ashley took JJ’s hand and led her around a couple rides geared for younger children, then up a flight of white metal stairs that ended at the loading dock for the ride. Another bored employee waved them in, letting them pick any car they wished. There were already a few people in seats, chatting as they waited for the ride to fill up.
Ashley picked a seat and plopped herself in, tugging the metal harness over her head. JJ followed suit, shifting to adjust her jacket comfortably. It wasn’t much longer that a crowd of older kids, high school age if JJ had to guess, filled up the remaining seats.
As the coaster clanged to a start, chugging its way roughly up the first incline JJ turned to Ashley. “Now is probably a terrible time to say this, but I’m terrified of heights.”
Ashley’s face paled. “Oh my God, JJ! Why didn’t you say anything? We totally could have done something else. I had no idea.”
JJ shook her head and gripped the harness tightly. She felt the train jerk one last time as it began to tip along the rails into the first curve. She turned back to Ashley, “If I die, you can have my guitar.”
Their car whipped into the first turn. Ashley reached out and grabbed JJ’s hand, squeezing hard. JJ squeezed back, a laugh bubbling up in her throat as they twisted and flipped at high speeds. All too soon they approached the station, the train jerking to slow down enough to enter the station. JJ was still giggling, Ashley’s fingers clutching at hers. Blonde curls flew as Ashley whipped her head around to check on JJ.
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