The bell rang out across the school, slicing through the cold bitter wind, swirling through the courtyard. Although the air was icy cold, and stung my cheeks as Robyn and I huddled next the the street lamp just inside the Gloucester gate, waiting eagerly for her boyfriend, Kai, to join us, I didn't care about the almost arctic weather. I just wanted to get across town. I just wanted to see Jordan. I just wanted to know if he was as amazing in real life as he seemed over messenger.
Kai sidled up to us, wrapping his arms tightly around us, squeezing us tightly. Followed in tow by the rest of the group. Ben slid his fingers into mine, as he put his arm around Freya, his girlfriend, as she locked hands with Robyn, who in turn locked hands with Kai. Patrick, Casey and Charlie huddled behind, hiding their hands in their pockets, burring their faces deep into the collar of their jackets.
With my free hand I slid my phone out of my pocket. It was already ten past three. In just ten minutes I had to be outside Costa, wrapped tightly in Jordan's arms, meeting him for the very first time. The butterflies in my tummy felt as if they were trying to burst out through my skin, flapping and swooping, fluttering full pelt into the wall of my stomach, making me want to be a little sick. My teeth chattered together, partly because I was freezing cold, but mostly because I was so so scared. What if he didn't like me in real life? What if he thought I was too young, or too immature? A sinking feeling of gloomy doubt swam over me. A small voice hissing in my ear. You're only 15, what would he want with you? He's older, he's almost 19, he's an adult and you are just a child. Just an immature child. The snarling voices began ripping into my mood, making me feel thoroughly miserable. Ben squeezed my hand gently.
"Hey, don' worry, I'll be just across the park if he tries anything." He gently placed his chin on top of my head. I shook his hand by my side, squeezing gently.
"Thanks," I whispered, although him "trying anything" wasn't what I was afraid of.
The group walked together, ambling along the path from school towards the town center. This, to me, was frustrating, as we only just made it off the Gloucester Road by quarter past. I had just five short minutes to get all the way across the town center! I gave up, dropping Ben's hand, calling goodbye to the group as I power walked away from them, speeding through the "Gateway", skipping across the main road and darting up into the ASDA car park towards the Shires. Two minutes to get through the Shires, through Castle Place and past the Park Sweet Shop into St.Stevens place. My heart was pounding, my legs ached, as I broke into a slight jog, almost running, grinding to a walking halt as I came close to the coffee shop. Sat on a bench outside, looking down at his phone, sat the blonde haired boy I'd been dying to meet for what felt like forever.
He glanced up, breaking into an immediate smile, that morphed into a smirk. He stood up courteously, holding out one arm that he proceeded to wrap around me shoulders as I speed walked up to him. He looked down at his phone, and leaned close to my ear, whispering gently;
"It's 3:22, you're at least 61 seconds late, you naughty Kitten." I felt my cheeks begin burning red as I clenched clubbed fists to my chin, letting out a small giggle. Just the word "Kitten" sent me into a state of euphoric juvenility. He took one of my hands, un-clenching my fingers, and leading me to sit opposing him at the table. I tucked my hand into my sleeves, holding them up again, trying to keep warm.
"Sorry I'm late." I said, in an almost childish voice.
"Hmm..." I mumbled, giving a disparaging look. This made my heart sink, as if he was brushing off my apology. The way he flipped his head sideways felt as if he was mad at me for being just two minutes late! A small piece of me began aching, as if a lead weight was danging off my heart. "I don't think 'sorry' is good enough. "He said, turning back to me, resting his elbows on the table, placing his chin his hands that clenched into a single fist. I slumped my head. "Kitten needs a punishment."
I let out a giggle. I was not expecting him to be so publicly open about it. Most people keep it hush hush... I knew Robyn kept if quiet... well, tried.
Jordan stared at me, looking me up and down. He drew a deep breath. "Are you cold?" He asked, breaking the silence. "You're shivering."
"Mmhmm," I murmured back, "It's frreeezzing." He smiled, letting out a little chuckle.
"Let's go for a little walk, maybe warm you up a bit." He stood up, reaching over the table, holding out his hand, waiting for mine. I stretched out a shaky hand, still swaddled in a jumper sleeve. He gripped tight to my clenched hand, sliding his hand up to my wrist, squeezing tightly as I stood up, slinging my heavy rucksack over my shoulder.
We strolled through the park, his hand loosening around my wrist. Conversation drifted from one thing to another, talking about school, and college, and the new buildings being erected across the river from the cinema. We found a corner out the way of the bitter wind and sat together just enjoying each others company, exploring each other through conversation. Time seemed to be floating along as gently as a cloud drifting on the winds. We didn't notice it passing. Seconds merged into minutes, that merged into hours. We only became aware of its existence when the clock tower chimed quarter to six.
I slumped against his shoulder, as he lent his head against mine, both of us just admiring the way the clouds moved, and how the branches swayed in the wind. At a gentle lull in conversation, I plucked together my courage. Biting hard on my bottom lip, I turned to him. He looked back at me. I watched as his eyes explored mine, inspecting my expression.
"What is it?" He asked, leaning back slightly as if I was going to tell him to get back. I ran my lip through my teeth, giving a little look down to my lap for dramatic effect.
"Twice," I said. "Twice I've been naughty..." He squinted at me, a gentle smile gracing his lips.
"That's right..." He said, dropping his chin to his chest. He looked up again, mimicking my little dramatic moment just seconds earlier. "You know, twice is quite a lot of naughtiness to be unpunished, Kitten." My cheeks singed, burning up again. He put one elbow up on the back of the bench, leaning his head against his hand. I scootched in closer to him. He placed a hand on my leg, slowly running his fingers back and forth along the top of my thigh. I lifted my legs over his, draping them over his lap so that I was almost cradled in his side. He dropped his arm off the back of the bench so it hung round my shoulders. He moved his hand from my thigh to gently stroke my face, running his fingers through what little hair I had. Suddenly he gripped tight to my hair, locking it between his fingers, pulling my head back with a jolt. He let a smile draw itself across his face. "Kitten doesn't get kissed it she's been naughty." He said, moving his hand from my hair, slowly tracking down my back, gripping my waist, pulling me close again. He pulled my head in close to his chest, lifting me onto his lap, gently resting his chin on my head. "If we were alone Kitty, you'd be pined down, and punished properly." He said, quite loudly really. A tingle traveled through my spine and into my underwear.