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Ephram nearly ran right into her coming out of the post office. Literally. He stumbled wildly, clutching grocery bags to his chest and not swearing. Well, maybe a little.

"So what's a hip boy like you doing in a dump like this?" Laynie quipped immediately, reaching out to steady his grocery bags.

Ephram took a minute to stare at her.  Short mini, sweater, black eyeliner. A tint of blue in her hair? "Well, you know." he shrugged, while trying to keep from dropping anything out of the full brown bags.  "I'm a masochist, and there's no better way to hurt yourself than Everwood, right?"

Laynie rolled her eyes at him, and they started walking down the street. "I thought you might have escaped by now," she said, "left me to my misery alone."

Ephram looked at her slyly.  Very short mini.  "What can I say," and he looked very innocent, "masochism is always better to share."

She shoved him, gently, and her hands maybe stayed on his shoulder just a bit longer. And her fingers maybe trailed along his jacket, just for a moment. "So obviously you're not executing a prison break," she said.  "What're you doing tomorrow?"

Ephram glanced at her.  "You know, the usual. I have piano practice, and then I'm gonna curl up with a nice ball gag and re-enact that scene from The Story of O."  He nudged her.  "It'll be a good time."

"Wasn't there a full harness and some kind of leather table in that?" Laynie asks him nonchalantly.  "We did a project on it at school, and I don't think there were any solo scenes in it."

By now they were at his dad's car, and any minute his dad was gonna come out of the pharmacy with some new inane toothpaste recommendation.  It was bad enough Ephram had to go through that, if he could help it he'd save Laynie.  "I haven't actually seen it," he told her, "it was basically a witty extended masochism joke."  He shifted the bags.  "But if you want to share the misery, maybe we could," and he gulped, "get together tomorrow."

Laynie tilted her head, quirked her very dark red lips.  Dark and yet not gaudy - stained with berry? color, not lipstick.  Ephram maybe knew too much about lipstick, now that Delia wanted to wear it. Anyway, her lips were dark and full and pouting a little. "Are you still into Amy?"

Yep, there was his dad.  "Not on any planet," he told her, honestly.  "The thing, whatever it was? has pretty much been burned up, out, off."  Her lips quirked even more.  "It's nice to be second best, to a masochist, but it can get boring."  He took a breath.  Why not.  "Plus, and don't tell her, but you're the best looking girl in this town."

His dad was coming to the car.  Laynie answered, "I'll rent it, then," raised an eyebrow, and nodded to his dad, before walking rapidly away.

His dad said, "was that Colin's sister?  How is she?"  Ephram handed him the grocery bags, mute.  He watched her pace down the street, very short skirt, very spiked hair, very.  "Ephram?" his dad repeated.

"huh," Ephram said.

~

"So you seeing anyone?" she said.

Ephram shrugged.  "I was thinking about one of those mail-order brides, you know? Except I think my dad took the catalogue.  I keep hoping for an attractive girl who doesn't speak English all that well to come for me in a big box marked 'Ephram Brown, happy birthday, love your father.' So far, no luck."

Laynie moved in closer.  "The post office is basically your pick-up spot, then," she said, and then, "you could address me."

Ephram swallowed.  "That's a good line."

She looked demure.  "No it wasn't."

Ephram blinked, and instead of them being curled up on the couch, watching what was really a bad movie, Laynie was draped over him and her cute little skirt - another one, denim, tight now that her knees were on either side of him - was riding up ever so slowly.

"Hey, Laynie?" Ephram managed to stutter, while she was licking his Adam's apple.  "is," it was the stupidest thing to say but the first thing that came to mind, "is the movie still playing?"

She sat up, but instead of separating them, it actually brought her - skirt - closer to his stomach, her back arching and pressing in next to him.  She looked down, licking her lip.  "Probably," she said.  "Do you want to actually watch any more?"

He swallowed.  "We could turn it off, instead," he said, trying very hard not to let his hands - loose and stroking her ribs gently, - clutch at her hipbones. "Because much as I like bondage scenes," and Laynie opened her mouth a little, just enough to breathe in deep, "you are far, far more interesting."

She relaxed, and instead of the taut spine, aching, almost *vibrating* body on top of him, instead she sat back, nuzzled up close, and kissed his neck. "Interesting?" she murmured against his earlobe.  "Yearbook is interesting."

He let his hands grab onto her hips, just a little. "Yearbook is not interesting," he retorted, even though there was a little gasp at the end of the sentence, and then her tongue was touching his, not kissing, just touching, and then it was gone.

"You're kind of astounding," she told him, and then bit his ear.

Ephram inhaled, shaky, and then again, face on fire.  "Laynie," he said, "Laynie."  Her skirt hiked up a little more, he could feel the denim on his wrists and even his wrists were hot and tingly.  "We're really. uh."

She actually stilled herself, her hips, her legs, her knees, her hands, her mouth. Her tongue.  Ephram froze, going from tense and happy to tense and anxious in an instant.  Maybe he did something incredibly wrong, because she definitely wasn't vibing anymore.  He held his breath for one incredibly long second, and then she said suddenly, "when's your dad coming home?"

"Uh, he's gone until eleven, he had to do something in Denver with Delia," and then Laynie was up, standing as if coordination and kissing could go hand in hand, as if the fact that they were just *kissing* wouldn't rile her.  Ephram looked at her stupidly. "What?"

His palms were tingling, that was how turned on he was, and still there was the nervousness in his stomach.  He rubbed his hands along the tops of his thighs, and even that was a mistake, because he could feel that touch and it was an ache as well.

Laynie grinned at him. "Upstairs."

Ephram blinked.  Then followed.

~

Ephram thought, this is a lot more than hot.

He groaned, "oh, okay, okay," and Laynie had her knees around him again, only this time she was laying on his bed, staring up at him with those big eyes, and her eyeliner was a little smudged and Ephram thought 'I did that' and he looked at her lips and all her lipstick was gone but her lips were still red and bright, and he thought 'I did that'.

"Better than The Story of O," Laynie said, wrapping one leg around the back of his thighs firmly, making him press against her.  Her skirt was on the floor and her hands were wrapped around his neck.

Ephram gulped air steadily, as if nothing in the world could ever amount to this ever, ever again.  He couldn't feel anything in any of his body and yet he could feel everything in all of his body.  "I don't know," he managed to babble, "there were some interesting comparisons between the--"

Her lips latched onto his again, and he moaned again, trying not to crush her as they kiss.  Her hands were already trying to pull off what little clothing he had on, and when her hand went into his boxers he froze, because if she kept that up he was going to, right here.  He--

"Laynie, Laynie wait."

She moved her hand.  "Are you going to tell me something I really don't want to hear?"

He looked at her and through sheer force of will kept his body calm.  "Only if you're hoping to hear what an adolescent I am."  He leaned, and shaky, wiped his face.  "You do not know how beyond amazing you are. Which is the problem."

She raised her eyebrow.  "Ohh."  Grinned.  "Compliment taken."

Ephram leaned down to kiss her neck, lick her neck, just anything to make her tilt her head back and push out her throat again.  "Compliment," he murmured, "definitely given."

And then, somehow Laynie managed to ambush him, and they were naked by the time Ephram realized what the hell is going on.  "Are we really going to do this?" he asked.

She opened her eyes and fixed a very frank stare on him.  Ephram got the feeling that he wasn't going to like what she had to say.  "If you don't want to," she said, "I'm going to laugh at you.  I've never heard of a teenage boy saying no."

Ephram laughed, shaky still.  "Did I say no?  I was merely clarifying."

She rolled over, onto her side, and took one of his hands, very carefully putting her hand in it.  "Look," she said, "this is best."

Then she licked his finger, and traced it all down his hip.

Ephram shuddered, eyes closed. He couldn't help it.  He couldn't help it at all.  Fell back onto his pillow, and he really wanted to be better than this, since he wasn't completely inexperienced, but she was totally.  "You're totally amazing," he told Laynie, in amidst the gasping.

~

"So," Laynie said.

Ephram wrapped his arms around her, and she pillowed her head on his chest easily.  "We have about an hour, I think?" he said, hesitantly.  "And then we'd better get up.  Cause."

"Your dad's coming home. I remember."

He bit his lip, and felt her snuggle up. "This," and Ephram gulped.  "This is nice."

Tilting her head so she could grin at him - "nice like yearbook?"

"No!" and he laughed, heard her giggle.  "Nicer than yearbook."

"You know," Laynie said, "from now on, that's going to be code."  She wrapped her hand into his.  "Yearbook, I mean."

Ephram looked down at the top of her head.  "From now on?"

"Well, I guess you could never call me," she answered thoughtfully, "but we go to the same school again, so--"

"What are you doing on Saturday?" Ephram blurted, interrupting her.  He was unaccountably nervous; they were naked, pressed together in his bed but who could say what that meant?

Laynie squeezed his hand.  "A movie, I think," she said, and looked at him coyly.  "What do you want to see?"