So she fell, Rhyley letting her fall - though it was more a kindness on his part than anything like neglect. Before she knew it they were kissing again, deeply, as though they were half-drunk, or at any rate as though they didn’t care what the rest of the world thought about them. When they stopped for air Sandra didn’t think she could dance anymore. But she pushed through it, focusing on not falling until the end of the song, at which point she herself pulled Rhyley away from the dancers with the intention of finding somewhere more private.
“Darling, you look hypnotised, you know,” Rhyley said into her ear as he followed, unsurprisingly completely unhesitant.
“Well, now we know what they mean when they use the word hypnotised in songs about love,” she said absently, intent on her actions.
She pushed the doors at the end of the hall open and they stepped out into the foyer where it was instantly quieter. They looked around and Sandra spotted a door in one of the two walls on either side of them. She walked towards it and tried the handle. The door opened and she found herself looking at a dark but spacious kitchen. She pulled Rhyley inside and found the light switch. She turned the light on and then looked for a comfortable place to make out.
“On the table?” Rhyley suggested cheerfully.
“No,” she said firmly. “People prepare food on that.” She led him around the table and to the back wall where there were corners either side unoccupied by ovens or fridges or furniture. She started walking backwards into one of these corners, tugging Rhyley gently by the hand until she was pressed against the wall and Rhyley was less than inches away.
“What have I done to you,” Rhyley said wonderingly.
“Sh,” said Sandra, not wanting to think or talk; that wasn’t why she’d brought him here. “Just kiss me.”
“Your wish is my command,” Rhyley whispered and leant in to do just that. Exploiting the opportunity that her dress provided, he caressed her legs as his mouth moved against hers and Sandra felt simultaneously like she was melting and on fire.
Strangers’ whispers of ‘Oh, look, this is perfect’ alerted them to the presence of another couple in the kitchen who hadn’t yet noticed them. They stopped kissing and watched, Rhyley turning where he was standing.
It was Ben and David.
Feeling Rhyley and Sandra’s gazes, the boys looked over at the corner.
“Oh, goodness, we’re sorry!” exclaimed David.
“Seems like we’re not the only couple wanting to engage in private activities,” commented Ben. “David, that’s Rhyley.”
David looked Rhyley up and down.
“I see - he is attractive, isn’t he?”
“Um, thanks,” said Rhyley, sounding disconcerted.
“Shall we go somewhere else?” David asked Ben. “Seeing as this room’s taken?”
“Oh, it doesn’t have to be,” Sandra found herself saying, her selflessness kicking in. “Rhyley and I can leave.”
Rhyley sighed in annoyance.
“Sandra, we’re not done.”
“Yes, but when will we be done?” she asked quietly. “You said we wouldn’t kiss all night - plus you know we’re both tempted by each other. I think it’s probably good Ben and David interrupted.”
Rhyley looked offended.
“You know I wouldn’t go that far, Sandra.” He started walking towards the door. “But if you’ve had enough, let’s go.”
Sandra followed him, saddened that she had hurt his feelings.
“Sorry,” said David as they passed. Both he and Ben looked awkward.
“Not your fault,” Sandra said quietly.
Back in the foyer Rhyley had sat down against a wall. He looked angry.
“Rhyley, I didn’t mean to suggest...”
“Suggest what?” he interrupted. “That I’d forgotten your chastity. Of course you did, Sandra.”
“I didn’t,” she protested. “I was merely saying that we were both tempted. You know we were.”
Rhyley glanced up at her, brow furrowed slightly.
“Really? You weren’t getting scared of me?”
“Of course I wasn’t,” she whispered, walking towards him. “If anything, I was being reckless.”
She sat down beside him.
Rhyley took her hand.
“No, you can’t blame yourself for that.”
Sandra looked up at him, amused.
“Another cocky comment? Seriously?”
Rhyley shook his head.
“No, I mean it,” he said seriously. “We want each other - like you said. Of course you’re going to be reckless if all you can think about is going further, getting to the next stage, finding some new method of giving pleasure as well as receiving it... How can anyone think while they’re in that state?”
“I don’t know,” Sandra answered unnecessarily.
“Well, personally, I don’t think you’re meant to,” he said softly.
Sandra abruptly stood up.
“Let’s get back to the disco,” she said, blushing at how little it had taken for her to want to be drowning in Rhyley’s kisses again.
Rhyley saw the exact reason for her sudden movement and stood up, grinning.
Sandra didn’t allow herself the dangerous luxury of being kissed again for the whole evening. Fortunately Rhyley seemed to understand her reservations and sat drinking beer while she danced with Roger and Kayla, unless it was a slow dance, at which point he would join her again and they would dance while gazing into each other’s eyes.
At the end of the party Roger thanked everyone for coming, saying that he looked forward to seeing them all (expressing the hope to encounter Florence’s pack as well) at the next full moon. The he proceeded to start on the cleanup process with Kayla and anyone else who could lend a hand before they went home.
At one point he asked Sandra “Did you have a good time?”
“I did, thanks,” she said sincerely.
“Had a good time with Rhyley too, didn’t you?” said Ben as he passed, winking.
Roger made no comment.
“What about you? Have you had fun tonight?” she asked him.
“I have,” he replied, smiling. “Kayla’s an excellent dancer. I’m really happy with her.” He seemed to realise what his sentence order implied and hurriedly said “I’m not just happy she’s a great dancer of course.”
“I know that.”
Roger smiled, looking relieved.
“Of course you do.”
Slowly all the people who had come to the party left, until it was just Sandra, Rhyley, Roger and Kayla in the hall. Sandra’s dad had rung to say that he was going to be late picking her up because of traffic and so the other three had decided to wait with her.
“We organised a great night,” Kayla remarked to Roger. “I’ve never planned something like that before.”
“Just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it,” he replied.
“I think this Christmas is going to be extra special,” Kayla murmured. “Because I have you.”
“That’s adorably sweet,” Roger murmured. He kissed her and Sandra looked away. She accidentally found herself looking into Rhyley’s eyes.
“Are you happy?” he asked, and she sensed the question was bigger than tonight - a question about their happiness as a couple.
“Euphoric,” she told him.
Rhyley frowned in confusion.
“What does that mean?”
“It means ‘Yes, I’m happy - plus, I’m completely in love with you’.”
She reached out to take his hand and stroke it.
“I love you,” she told him.
Rhyley pulled her into a hug and kissed her hair. Sandra felt secure, at peace inside herself and as happy as she imagined it was possible to be. She held him back, pressing herself into him, knowing that they would never let go of each other - even when they released each other physically.
Rhyley’s whisper caressed her ear and touched her inside, making her heart feel exposed in an open space yet beautifully bound to him too.
“Sandra, my treasure, the other half of my heart ... - I love you too.”