Whatever You Call Me
Annie felt the sting and quickly slapped the mosquito nibbling on her calf. They’d been sitting in the grassy field for over an hour waiting for the tow truck to arrive. The subs had long ago been eaten, but they lounged on the trunk carpet sipping what was left of their fountain drinks.
“Damn, it’s hot.” Kip began unbuttoning his shirt and pulling the tail out of his pants. “I’ve got to get out of these clothes.”
Purposely looking the opposite direction, Annie fought the urge to take a glimpse of a shirtless Kip, but instead looked out at the baking weeds in the field. She jerked upright when she heard his belt buckle clink.
“What are you doing?” she shrieked.
“I’m getting out of these clothes. I’m burning up.” Kip tramped to the car, walking around to the driver’s side back door, and leaned inside where Annie couldn’t see. She strained her neck and rose up on her knees, stretching to see what he was doing. A few minutes later he returned to their makeshift picnic spot wearing gym shorts, a T-shirt, and sneakers. Annie dropped back onto the carpet and pulled up a few blades of grass as Kip dropped beside her.
“Disappointed?” he whispered in her ear.
“You heard me.”
“Why would I be disappointed?”
“You were hoping I was going to strip down.” He wiggled his eyebrows and nudged his shoulder into hers.
“Oh, please.” She went back to weeding the field, furiously yanking blades of grass and letting them flutter in the humid breeze.
“Come on, Coach. I saw the look on your face when I started unbuttoning my shirt.”
“Get over yourself.” She shoved back and then stood up, brushing the dust from her dress. “Should you call them again to see where the truck is?”
“What, don’t you like our little picnic?”
“Porter…seriously, we need to get back.” Annie glared at Kip where he lay on the carpet, resting his head in his hands.
“Relax, it will be here soon. Come lay down with me.” He patted his hand on the carpet and gave her his most salacious grin.
“Not a chance.”
“Come on…what are you afraid of?”
Annie stared at Kip, taking a tendril in her hand and twisting it tightly around her finger. She glanced over her shoulder at the car and then back at him, now lying on his side with his head resting on his hand. He patted the carpet once more and invited her over with a swoosh of his hand.
“Fine,” she said, joining him on the carpet and mimicking his relaxed position.
“Tell me about the mechanic.”
“I already told you. We dated in high school and he taught me all about cars.”
“Nah…there’s got to be more to the story.” Annie watched Kip’s soft lips curl at the corners. The memory of him leaning in to kiss her earlier in the day flashed through her mind. She sighed and flipped flat on her back.
“Not really. My father hated him…thought he wasn’t a good influence. We didn’t date long.”
“This is the first I’ve heard about your dad. You’ve never mentioned your family, actually. What do they do?”
“Oh, um…” Annie closed her eyes against the bright sun. “My dad is an attorney and my mom is a professional party giver.” Not a total lie.
“Sound like interesting people. I’d like to meet them.”
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