Bette On It: Weird Adolescence. Freshman Year. An Excerpt...

"Hey Bee, you got some time? I was hoping you might be able to maybe, possibly help me with something."

Bette could hear the hesitation in how he spoke. She was in her room standing at her dresser puttering and reorganizing stuff with one hand and holding the phone with the other. "What's going on?"

Ozzy took a deep breath. "I'm going to say some stuff. And I want you to hear me out on this. Do you think you can do that?"

"Okay." She looked at herself in the mirror at her own confused face.

"Okay. Alright. Okay. Um...You know how you've seen Tylor's swarm, right? All the girls? So, um, yeah. Some of them, a few of them, aren't all into him. I think some of them are kinda into me. And it's kinda scary. It's good. But it's scary. Like the roller coaster ride, you know?" He cleared his throat and she could tell he was pacing. "After what you told me what had happened with you and Pete. And it's been so long since Vanessa, I'm-I'm not sure what I'm doing." He groaned in a frustrated way. "I don't know where the lines are. I don't know where the boundaries are. Some of these girls are super flirty, but I don't know if it's just for fun or not. If-If they actually find me attractive. Like what you said happened to you. What I'm saying is, I need someone to show me what is and isn't okay to do with girl. And I'm hoping because we trust each other you would consider helping me find that line. What's good and what's bad. Specific-to my skills. Do you get what I'm trying to say?"

She could hear him plop down wherever he sat. Bette looked in her mirror with a red face. She had a jaw-dropping smile. She did everything in her power not to laugh. She was touched. She was flattered. He was so innocent. He was asking for a platonic make-out coach. She knew she had no way of lying to him, she never could. "Ozzy. Are you asking me to-help you-practice?"

"If you want to put it like that, yes," he said nervously.

Bette tried to speak in a gentle way to put him at ease without making him feel ashamed. "Ozzy, no."

***Warning: Depicts teen sexuality***

January 2001, An Imagined History.

"If you want to put it like that, yes," Ozzy said nervously.

Bette's jaw-dropped smile turned into a big, flattered one. It wasn't exactly her summer after seventh grade dream come true, but it was at least in the ballpark. "Um, you know what Oz, okay."

"Really? A-are you sure?" He still hesitated.

Her heart raced to his request, but she was surprisingly calm in replying, "Yeah. I think so."

"You think?"

"I mean, you have to admit, this is not a normal thing for us, right?"

"Forget I asked."

He sounded embarrassed, but Bette didn't want to forget it. "No, Ozzy, that's not what I'm saying. What I meant was-it's" she sounded as nervous as he did only a couple minutes ago. She spat out the words, "it might be good for me too!"

Ozzy was quiet on the other end of the phone for a long moment, and it made Bette more nervous. "What, um, what do you mean by that?" He said calmly.

She took a deep breath and tried to collect her thoughts and not sound desperate. She realized she had had a crush on him right before she was with Mark the year before and was over it, but this might be a way to put some final closure on it. She thought of some other things too. "It's like you said, we trust each other, right?"

"Right."

"It's been...lonely this year, even with all the new girls. Skye's been great and the other girls at lunch and stuff. And I try to see Jenna on the weekends; we don't have any classes together."

"Uh-huh."

She spoke cautiously, "And...after the Pete thing...it might be nice to ease back into thinking about guys again. As in, it might be good practice...for the both of us."

"So...we can help each other with this?" He was just as cautious.

"I think so." She was hopeful.

"Um, tomorrow's Friday. Would you maybe want to come over after school-No pressure! If you want!"

Bette saw the redness on her face grow in the mirror. She could hear the excitement in his voice. "I think I could do that. We can figure it out?"

"I think that would be fair."

"And, just to be clear, this is just between us, right?" She asked cautiously. "You're not going to tell anyone about this, right? Nothing's even happened yet."

"Absolutely!"

"*Whew*. Last thing I need after the Pete incident is some kind of reputation, you know?"

"What kind of reputation would I get asking for favors like this?"

"A better one than me, I can tell you that much," she laughed.

...

They sat on the bus together on the ride home the next day and it was surprisingly comfortable. The conversation the day before had been awkward at best. Maybe it was the cold, or the not talking about it, or no one else knowing but them, but they were themselves, and it felt good. They got off the bus at his stop together.

"I told Aunt Darrah you were coming over for a movie," Ozzy said as they walked. The bus pulled away from them.

"That's...actually a really good idea." She thought of Mark and how a movie used to allow them a large amount of undisturbed time. She warmed to the thought.

"Vanessa and I used to watch a lot of movies. Or, not watch, you know?" He snickered a little when he said it.

She looked over and up at him, "Maybe we not talk about our exes?"

He made a playfully cringed expression. "Oh, um. I guess you're right."

"Yeah...I don't really want to know if I'm better or worse than her."

Ozzy looked stunned. "I would never do that! You're not going to do that to me, are you?!"

"No." She said calmly. "I didn't think that was the point of this."

"It isn't." He tried to wipe the stunned look of his face.

"Remind me the point of why we're doing this again?"

He spoke slowly, as if trying not to embarrass himself, "We're helping each other. I need to know where the line is. And you said you wanted to 'ease back into things.' Isn't that how you put it?'

There was more to it than that, but she wasn't going to tell him now, not when they were so close to his house. Not when this was so close to happening. "I did say that. And because we trust each other. There's no one else I could trust with this kind of thing."

"Same." Ozzy opened the door to his house, and they went in. They took off their backpacks, coats, hats, mittens, and boots. Bette always thought her winter boots were big and bulky, but they seemed small next to Ozzy's. They looked like they could have fit inside his. "You hungry? Want something to drink?" He asked.

Her mouth was suddenly dry. The reality of what they were doing was starting to settle in. "Water. Ma-maybe an apple. I read somewhere apples are better for-" She realized she wasn't sure if Darrah was there or not. She mouthed silently, "Are we alone?"

Ozzy saw the concern on her face. "She'll be home a little after seven. What were you gonna say?"

Bette felt herself get red as he handed her the glass of water in the kitchen. She took a long drink. "Um, that apples are better are better for..." her eyes darted around the room, she found it hard to look at him. "bad breath than mints."

Ozzy raised an eyebrow. "Oh." He turned around, opened the refrigerator, and pulled out a couple of apples in one hand. She wondered if he could have fit a third in hand. He held two so easily. He sliced them up and put them in a big bowl. He took his glass and walked out of the kitchen to the wall of tapes and DVDs. "What movie sounds good to you?" He asked quietly.

He's so calm! "Probably nothing too distracting. Nothing that's gonna make us laugh, right?"

"Star Wars?"

I don't want Star Wars to be ruined if this goes wrong. "How about Return of the Jedi?"

"That works."

She grabbed the tape; his hands were full. She followed him down into the basement. "There's always slave Leia. You can always picture her," she chuckled awkwardly.

Ozzy sighed. "Stop a sec." He put the bowl and the glass on the end table. He took the tape and the glass out of her hands and set them down. He looked at her. "You are clearly uncomfortable. We don't have to do this if you don't want to. I'm not going to be upset or angry or hurt. I asked a big favor of you. You don't owe me this." He took a step back after he said it.

It was the most he said since they got in the house, and it was what actually put her the most at ease. She exhaled, stepped forward, and hugged him around his middle. "I just needed to hear that." He hugged her back.

"Finding the line, remember?" She could hear the smile in his voice and his heart pound in his chest.

"And you're going to make it easy?" She asked.

"If you still want to. If you'll let me." He said it gently.

She smiled and squeezed him a little harder. He squeezed her back and she felt his cheek on the top of her head. They both took a deep breath, and she took in the smell of his t-shirt and the masculine smell of either his antiperspirant or cologne. It caused her to loosen her arms around him. She felt his head turn and heard and felt him kiss the top of her head. Bette smiled, raised her eyebrows, opened her embrace, and looked up at him. "Did that cross a line?" He asked.

"No." Her voice was hardly more than a whisper. She saw the sweet look on his face, the easy smile, the soft eyes. She felt how warm his hands were on his back, he gently curled his fingers against her. His warmth imbued into her. "It would be okay..." she put a little pressure on his back. Ozzy's gently eyes grew surprised with a sharp inhale. He gave a quick peck to the top of her hairline, let go of her, and quickly stepped past her back to the table. He took a big sip of his water and picked up the tape.

"You mind if I put the movie in?" He sounded almost as nervous as he did on the phone the day before.

"Go for it." She plopped on the old couch near the middle, along the edge of one of the cushions. She was seated far enough inward on the couch that she couldn't be seen from the top of the stairs. Whether or not something happened with Ozzy, his Aunt Darrah wouldn't see anything if she walked by the top of the basement stairs.

He put in the movie, grabbed the remotes, and sat down on the couch in the middle of the other couch cushion, closer to the arm rest, putting several inches between them. The movie played and nothing happened or was said for 20 minutes. They both sat with their hands in their laps. Bette felt the coolness of the space, the heat that Ozzy had put in her had dissipated and she was starting to feel cold of the basement. She thought about why she was there in the first place. Ozzy always had been warm, gentle, sweet, and he had gone out on a big limb asking her to practice. She was ready to try, if nothing else, just for the comfort of him. She turned her head slightly, but didn't take her eyes off the TV, "Ozzy?"

"Hmm?"

"You remember the time we fell asleep in my living room?"

She could see his fingers begin to fidget, "What about it?"

"We could sit like that." She looked over to him, "If you still want to."

Ozzy shifted on the couch slightly closer to her and raised his arm. Bette sidled over to him. She raised her feet onto the couch and tucked herself against him. She twitched her free hand at first, not knowing if was okay to rest it on his stomach or his chest before resting her hand on her knee. His hand was draped across her shoulders. She was warm against him, but did not sit as comfortably as she did a moment before. Say something. Let him know he's nowhere near the line.

"Are you comfortable?" He asked.

"Mostly," she said.

"Mostly?"

"I guess," she fidgeted as she sat, and he raised his arm. "Can-" she adjusted out of her position and faced him on her knees. "Is this going to happen? Because the anticipation is killing me. Do you not want to anymore?" She was bright red looking at him.

Ozzy got wide eyed again. "What? I do!" He leaned over and ran his hands through his hair. "Shit!" He sat up and looked at her, nearly scared looking. "I just-I didn't-This is so weird. I didn't know what to do to start. I didn't know what would be okay!"

She tried to speak gently, "We were doing fine right before you started the movie."

"It got so real! I'd never seen that look on your face before."

"Was it bad? I mean, I know I don't have a lot of experience, but-"

"What are you talking about? You have way more experience than me."

Bette raised her eyebrows and sank down. "Whoa! What's that supposed to mean?" She wasn't angry, she was confused. She only had been with Mark a few months and had one bad date with Pete. Ozzy had been with Vanessa way longer and had Cassandra as an ex-girlfriend too.

"You were with someone who, got you...to the end of the roller coaster." He had to look away from her when he said it.

"One time! That happened one time!" She then pointed between the two of them, "And we did not discuss that being on the table for either of us. That is beyond any line I would consider with anyone."

"Thanks." He said sarcastically.

"I said anyone. Not just you Ozzy. I want to be here. I thought you wanted me here."

He looked back at her, "I do want you!" Her eyes got wide again. "-Here. I do want you here."

He said he wanted my help. He never said he wanted me. She rose to her knees and balanced on the cushion. "I think we should try hugging again," she said softly. Ozzy adjusted on the couch and turned slightly towards her. She leaned forward and put her hands on his shoulders this time. He took her about her waist. They wrapped their arms around each other and hugged. "This isn't so bad, right?"

He squeezed her and rubbed her back up and down. "It's kinda nice."

She closed her eyes and sighed. "That feels nice." She rubbed her hands down and back up again.

"That is nice," he said softly.

She slid her cheek against his and opened her eyes right in front of him. They looked at each other with soft expressions. She started to close her eyes again and could see he did too and moved into him. She felt the pressure of his hands on her back as she kissed him. He was warm with soft lips and she didn't feel pressured. It felt natural, it felt, right.

He took a sure grip of her and pulled her back. They looked at each other with little smiles. "You'll tell me if I do something wrong?" He asked.

She nodded. "The door swings both ways." Her smile twitched before they moved to each other for another kiss. She landed her lips around his lower lip. That freckle there might as well have been a beacon. His hand stroked down her hair once and it felt good. Was that always one of his moves or did he just want to touch my hair? They conformed their lips again; Bette moved her lower lip between his and let out a soft sigh. I don't remember him being this good of a kisser the first time, but that was only three seconds two years ago. She began to feel his warmth and comfort again and she couldn't help but slowly slide her tongue against his upper lip. Ozzy opened his mouth, and his tongue touched her lower lip. It's been so long. Their heads turned and their tongues cautiously met each other. She inhaled sharply and took a strong grip of his shoulders; she had too, she felt her legs get weaker. His hands separated on her back, one slid further down to the small of her back, the other went up to the base of her neck and she felt him squeeze her. She felt his fingertips around the base of her neck and his thumb caress her neck; he pulled her back slightly and separated them. Bette's face was bright red. Ozzy raised his eyebrow looking at her.

"W-was that okay?" He asked cautiously.

"That was more than okay," she said with growing eyes. "Was I?" Ozzy nodded. "My legs are getting tired. Can we-" she looked down to see where she could sit, and she could see that he had an erection in his jeans. I didn't think I was that good. She tried to look away quickly, but she could tell he saw. He took his hand off her back and moved the front of his shirt to cover it while clearing his throat. "I should-" she adjusted out of the kneeling position she was in and sat back down.

"Me too." He took his other hand off her back and scooted away from her a little bit.

She didn't want him to move away, she wasn't bothered that he was aroused. "No!" She planted her hand on his lower thigh and quickly took it back. "I mean, we don't have to stop," she rushed.

"I was worried we found, the line." He ticked his head and folded his arms across his lap. "I didn't want to cross it."

"That's normal." She ticked her head towards him. "I'd be more worried if that didn't happen."

Ozzy raised his eyebrow again, "So...you want to keep going?"

She reached out and touched his arm. "We can." They smiled at each other while they moved back towards each other and wrapped their arms around each other. Ozzy was arching over her in their side-by-side embrace, but it wasn't intimidating, he was soothing, he was alluring. They let out little laughs finding an enjoyable position to be in looking at each other. "I'll tell you if you do something wrong. You'll know. You'll tell me, right?"

Ozzy started to breathe heavier, "I will." He planted his lips on hers. She aimed for his freckle again when he did. She put her hand on the back of his head in his short hair. His hair is so soft. Did he always feel this good? Ozzy opened his lips and Bette responded in kind. She turned her head and held him tightly against him. She felt a warm tingle rush through her body as his tongue entered her mouth. She followed it back out of her mouth, and he pulled her tighter against him, lifting her slightly off the couch. She hummed a laugh and it made her withdraw her kiss. She held on to him tightly and they looked at each other again.

"It's good." She gave him a quick peck. "It's all good Oz." She said with a breathy smile.

He let out a laugh. He touched his forehead to hers. "It's good for me too." He kissed her again, took a sure grip of her, lifted her, and twisted her across his lap. Bette let out a small squeal as her butt landed on the opposite side of his legs and he was leaning over her. Her legs were draped over his and she was leaning comfortably against the armrest of the couch. He pulled back from her again and saw her grinning face. "I thought we'd both be more comfortable this way."

She giggled, "Very comfortable! Two thumbs up!" He smiled back. His right hand moved along her back and the heel of his palm had grazed the edge of her breast. They looked at each other in a way knowing that they both felt it there. Her hand was on his upper arm and she pulled him back towards her to kiss her. He closed his eyes before he reached her, but she stopped his face with her other hand. She whispered, "You can touch them."

Ozzy's eyes shot open; he saw her gentle expression. Her hand ran down his arm onto his wrist, pulling his hand out from behind her back. His hand slowly made its way onto and around her breast. He looked down to see what he did and gulped then looked back up at her. He was still breathing heavy, but now she was too. His fingers traced down the curve of her breast and glided back up with the back of his fingers. "Woah," he whispered. His fingertips found her hardening nipple and she got even warmer inside and out.

She held his face and pulled him in and kissed him. She sighed to his touch to tell him what he did was right. Hums and sighs that sounded like 'uh-huh.' Ozzy felt her squeeze him and lead him with deeper kissing. He stopped touching her chest and ran his hand down her waist. Bette pulled away from his mouth and started kissing his neck. Ozzy let out a groan. She spoke between kisses, "You can keep going with your hand."

His hand paused at the base of her t-shirt on her waist "As in?" He held the 'n' for more than a couple seconds.

She whispered in his ear, "Back up and under, or I know you're an ass man." She traced his ear with her tongue, and he groaned even harder than before.

His hand slid under her t-shirt and back up to her chest. Ozzy lowered the cup of her bra and touched her across her breast in a way that made her sigh. She kissed him back across his cheek to his mouth again and devoured his mouth with hers. His hand moved across her chest and did the same of her other breast. He teased her nipples until they swelled through her shirt. He pulled back from her and looked down at her, "Can-can I see them?" His middle finger circled her right nipple.

Bette adjusted in his arms causing him to back up and take his hand off her chest. She reached behind herself and unhooked her bra. She was past warm, he had her hot. "You can do more than just look, just keep going." His eyes got big briefly as she pulled him in for another impassioned kiss. She then turned her head to the side to have him kiss his way down her neck. She breathed heavily and sighed to let him know she liked what he did. He lifted her t-shirt and bra and exposed her pale breasts.

"Wow." He looked at her exposed breasts and back at her heated expression. He smiled, "The prettiest one in the room." His hand held her breast in place and his mouth enrobed her nipple and areola. She sighed and her head fell back in pleasure. His tongue deftly swirled and swept across her nipple. He's really never done this before? She looked down at him and he was watching her with intense eyes. He switched to kissing her other breast and he continued to tease her other nipple with his hand that held the left one. Bette was so heated by his touch she felt her hips shift and felt his erection in his jeans again. She moved against it a second time. He looked up at her and she nodded. He adjusted slightly and pressed himself into her.

"Kiss me Ozzy," she sighed. Her breast fell out of his mouth as he moved back to her and took her mouth back into his. His right hand swept down her body and he gripped her butt as he kissed her. While his tongue chased into her mouth, he moved his legs onto the couch and lay by her side. He ran his hand over her butt and back of her upper thigh. His hands were so big, and his fingers were so long, he actually grazed her loins, and she wasn't bothered. She wasn't sure if he did it intentionally or not; but she liked it, she wanted him to do more. When he pulled back from a kiss to reposition, she stopped him, "Oz."

They looked at each other heatedly. "Bee."

"What if I said, I, um," she looked up and away from him. "Changed my mind about...finishing the roller coaster?" She glanced back over to him and saw the wide-eyed look on his face. She felt his growth still there in his jeans.

"You'd want to do that with me?" He asked cautiously.

She looked more at him and glanced down at his hand. "I would want you to do that for me." His right hand was on her hip. She touched the fingers on his right hand. "But I would understand if y-"

"I want to." He said plainly. "I want to do that for you." They moved slightly and Bette unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans. Ozzy saw her black cotton panties with little white stars. "I don't know what I'm doing," the words fell out of his mouth when he saw them.

"Ozzy." He looked up at her. "I'll know how to show you if you need it." She shimmied her jeans down off her hips. She took his right hand and stuck his middle and ring finger in her mouth and sucked them to the second knuckle making him moan. "Use those fingers." She brought his hand to the top of her panties and nodded while looking at him. He looked down and slid his hand in, stretching the elastic. His middle finger slid into her, and she gasped. He looked worried. "It's okay," she whispered

"Okay." He said softly. He moved his hand forward and back looking at what he did, continuing to penetrate her with his finger for a minute. He looked back up at her face, "How's that?" She looked agape and breathed shallowly while he moved his hand in and out of her.

She could feel she was wet from what they had been doing. She reached down to his hand and moved it a little. "You feel that?" He nodded. She rubbed her finger on the back of his knuckle to show him how to touch her. "Right there. Like that." He gave her a look of understanding and started to move his fingers against her soft, wet skin. A moment later she started to sigh and moan. She pulled his face close and kissed him again as he touched her. "That's it, Ozzy. That's how I want it," she whispered.

He gave her a sly smile and spoke with a soft rumble. "Aren't you glad I needed your help?"

She closed her eyes. "Yes," she sighed.

He leaned close and whispered in her ear. "Am I making it feel good for you?"

"Yes. Oh." She felt the pleasure build in her to his touch in her panties.

"You knew I wanted this as much as you, didn't you?" She could feel his breath on her ear and neck.

"Yes. Ah."

She felt his lips against her ear. "You wanted me tonight, didn't you?'

"So much. Yes. Ah-a-a-ah." Bette felt the ripple of her orgasm shoot through her body from her loins out and she breathed deeply through the pleasurable feeling of it. When she opened her eyes, she wasn't in Ozzy's arms in his basement on his old couch, she was at home in bed. She had left his party less than an hour earlier. She could still faintly smell Jenna's pot and Greyson's cigarettes in her hair along with the dryer sheets she'd rubbed into her hair to try and hide the smell. She reached over to the post of her head board and grabbed her hoodie and smelled it. It still smelled like Ozzy's house and laundry; it smelled like him.

She'd been having the fantasy for a while. It had grown richer and more detailed over the last three months. After his party tonight, having her sweatshirt in his laundry with his clothes, and getting a strong whiff of of his cologne before leaving his house; the fantasy had never been so vivid. He always did feel safe, warm, and comforting. He'd grown more attractive and sexy since he asked her to 'find the line' with a girl. She regretted saying no from the moment she hung up the phone. Even if it was only going to platonic, it could have turned into something more. But she wouldn't know now. She couldn't ask now. It would be too humiliating. He didn't see her in a romantic way, he was clear when he asked her, when she turned him down. When he said he had a 'grocery list of girls,' she knew she wasn't one of them, she never would be. She was his buddy. She was his wing-woman, even if she failed at it that night. She had her chance and she lost it.

Fool. I'm no Jen B. He wouldn't want to do that for me. I should have said yes three months ago when he asked me.