"It's Bupkis," I said to the pixie-haired, bespectacled woman who answered the door.
She replied, "I remember." Her face then twisted into a frown. "I never told you where I live."
"I never even told you my last name."
I shrugged again.
"I know an art major who I'm guessing has a promising future as a police sketch artist," I explained. "Given the fact that you could legally buy alcohol, I asked around in the hangouts where junior and seniors go--this took a while, by the way--and then headed to the registrar's office and cashed in a favor."
"You're putting me on."
Again, I shrugged.
"You know," she said, "in some places, that's considered stalking."
I smirked. "But not in this place."
She smirked back. "What can I do for you, Bupkis?"
"I was considering... acquiring some beer and sharing it with you." I had no idea how I would acquire said alcohol, me being eighteen and all, but I had time to work it out. "After Thanksgiving, of course, if that's okay with you."
"Hell, you can share on Thanksgiving if you want," she said. "I'm not going anywhere."
It was her turn to shrug.
"Come on over to my house for dinner then," I told her. "My parents never turn down a stray."
She blushed. "I couldn't."
"Yes, you could."
She pondered this for a minute. "You live close?"
"More or less." I clarified, "Right on the border of Arizona."
"Close enough." Not really--it was about a five-hour drive away. Regardless, she asked, "You got a car?"
"More or less."
And so, the next day, we sat in the back of a bus. We'd managed to fill about a hundred and thirty-five miles with small talk before she grinned and shook her head. "You're really paying attention to what I'm saying, aren't you?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
She looked at her legs, which had somehow draped themselves over my lap without me noticing. "You tell me."
"That," I agreed.
She studied me. "I can tell you're not gay."
"I most certainly am not."
"You must be a virgin then." A disappointed pout momentarily drifted over her face.
If there was ever a call for a spit take, this was it. It was a good thing I wasn't drinking anything. "What?"
"It's okay, you know. You're only a freshman. Lots of guys wait until they're older," she told me. "And lots of guys lie about being a virgin too."
"I'm not lying," I said.
"About what?" she clarified. "That you're a virgin, or that you're not a virgin?"
I shrugged and pulled my arm back, and with it, my fingers. They came to a stop at the top of her knee. My thumb, however, rested on her inner thigh. I pressed my nails into her leg--just hard enough to get her attention, and began dragging them upward toward the hem of her skirt.
She squirmed, but she didn't retreat.
As soon as my hand felt fabric, it came to a halt. I leaned close to her, my gaze resting on her cheek and her neck. "Go on..." My lips brushed against her ear. "... guess."
"Why would you do that?"
"I wanted to show you I'm not inexperienced."
"I mean," she said, "why would you stop?"
"Good question." My thumb followed the outline of her underwear, where it met with the inside of her leg. She moaned. And when it slipped underneath, she sat up and kissed me. It wasn't so much the romance of the moment as it was she needed to keep herself from crying out.
I don't know how much time had passed--based on the throbbing ache building up between my legs, it must have been a day and a half--by the time I asked, "Are we supposed to fuck on a bus, because I don't know if I'm brave enough for that."
"Just keep... doing... that."
I stopped moving my hand and instead ran my tongue from her collarbone, to her neck, and to her ear. "Doing what?"
"What you were doing?" she whimpered.
Her hips tried to do the work, but I kept pulling back, just out of reach. "Say please."
Suddenly, her nails dug into the back of my skull, her eyes seared mine, and she growled. The voice that poured out of her clenched teeth didn't even sound human. It said, "I am so close to fucking coming right now, and if you don't fucking go back to fucking fingering me again, I will fucking kill you."
I did as she asked. "Like that?"
"Oh," she grunted, and, after two more gasps, she lunged forward and bit my shoulder with enough force that, even if it didn't draw blood, it was going to bruise.
It took her a while to breathe again, and when she could, she giggled, "So you're not a virgin."
"Yeah, but only barely."
"It's a zero-sum game, Bupkis," she told me. "You either are or you aren't."
"I guess I'm not."
"How could you barely be a virgin?"
I shrugged. "There was only one girl."
"Really?" she asked. "You learned how to do that from one girl?"
"There was a lot of build-up," I replied. "Lots of time together in cars. Lots of groping. Lots of oral sex. You know--practice."
"Are you trying to tell me you went down on your high school sweetheart?"
She threw her arms around my neck, laughed, and kissed me, for real this time. "Bupkis," she said, "this is going to be a long vacation."