Disclaimer: Not mines, don't sue.
"Billy, you remember what were doing tonight… Billy?" Connie called out as the hairdresser was removing the rollers from her hair. She tried to move her head just enough that she could see her boyfriend without the hairdresser complaining.
"What? Yeah, uh, sure." Billy replied looking up from his magazine before continuing his reading.
Connie frowned at this. "Well remember, we're going with Sharon, Beverly, Thomas, and Lawrence to the game tonight, then over to the Blue Point, so be sure to pick me up by six, and make sure I'm home by ten, you know how Daddy is about curfew."
"You got it babe." Billy replied mumbled, not looking up from his magazine. After the last roller was removed, Connie got up from the seat and walked over to Billy.
"Billy, is something bothering you?" She asked him softly. Billy jumped a bit from the sudden scare, looked up, and gave a small smile.
"Nothin' bothering me babe. Why'd you asked?"
"You seem a little unfocus, are you sure nothing bothering you?" Connie asked him again, putting her hand on his. Billy then placed his other hand on hers.
"Trust me, it's nothing, now go back and make yourself more beautiful. I don't want my gal looking bad for tonight." Billy reassured her. Connie just shrugged and rolled her eyes with a grin as she returned to her seat, the hairdresser tapping her foot, annoyed at the recent interruption.
"And… a little of this." Connie muttered to herself as she was applying some last minute make-up to her face. It was now five-forty o' clock and Connie was getting ready for her date. She was about to apply some powder when the telephone again. "Could somebody get that!" she called out.
A couple of seconds later, a voice called from the hallway, "Connie, Billy on the phone!" That was odd. Connie turned her head and lean backwards to see her little sister holding the phone with the receiver stretch out.
"Thank you Ann, I got it." Connie replied as she left the bathroom, taking the phone from her sister, "Billy? Are you coming soon? I only have a few things left to do an –"
"Babe, I can't make it." Upon hearing those words, a lump appeared in her throat.
"Wha-What are you talking about?" Connie almost shrieked into the phone.
"It's Ace…" Just hearing that name made her grit her teeth. "He wants all of us to go out to Chamberlain."
"What the fu-" She stop herself as she looked up and saw a cross with a little Jesus hanging on the wall. You don't swear in front of the son of god. "What for?"
"This guy he knows from a rival gang has challenge us to a rumble so Ace wants all of us to be there. Look babe, I'm sorry, maybe I could…"
"No." Was all she said.
"No, that's ok, you go be in this roomble…"
"Connie, I—" But Billy never got to finish what he was saying as Connie hung up the phone. Damn that Ace Merrill, she never understood what Billy and his friends saw in him. Their lives would be so much better off without him. Sighing, Connie turned the rotary a couple of times and waited for the phone to ring and someone to answer.
"Hello?" Came out a voice.
"Oh hey Connie, Billy picking you up pretty soon?"
"He can't." Connie told her.
"Why couldn't he? He knows we've planned this out earlier this week. What made him change his mind?"
"Ace Merrill." Connie heard a 'tsk' from the other line.
"Connie, I told you trying to get involve with a Cobra wasn't a good idea." Sharon reminder her, again, "Do you still want to come to the game? I can have Lawrence swing by and pick you up."
"No, that's okay, last thing I want to be right now is the third wheel. You guys go have fun."
"Are you sure? If you need anything, you know you can call me."
"You know I do Sharon. Have a good time."
"We'll try. Again, sorry about Billy."
"Yeah, goodbye." After parting words, Connie hung the phone and return to the bathroom. She was about to grab a washcloth and wipe the make-up off, but stop and look herself in the mirror. She had spent way too much time doing her make-up and getting her hair down. She looked damn pretty and wasn't going to put all this effort to waste. Leaving the bathroom, Connie went into her room, put on a nice outfit, grabbed her purse, and headed to get her keys.
"You going out with Billy?" Ann asked her as she sat on the floor watching TV.
"No, change of plans, I'm heading out on my own. Tell Mama I'm with Sharon and Beverly for me." Connie told her as she reached for her keys.
Ann smirked. "It'll cost you." She told her older sister, holding her palm.
Connie just rolled her, fish through her purse, and took out two dollars.
"I swear, I have no idea where you pick these habits up from." Connie said out loud as she gave her the money.
"Be sure to be back by ten." Ann told her as she stuff the money away.
"Planning on it." And with that, Connie left the house.
Connie drove the streets of Castle Rock. She didn't care that Billy just change their plans unannounced, she was going to have fun tonight. But once she reached the middle of downtown, she had no idea what to do next. She could go the Blue Point, but then she would run into her friends. Maybe the movie theater? Eventually, she settle to go to Irby's.
"Can I get you anything miss?" The person behind the counter asked.
"Just some water." Nodding, the waiter went to get her a glass. She looked around the room. Various guys were either smoking, shooting pool, talking about their day with their friends, or trying to chat up girls in the hopes of getting lucky. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to come in here by her lonesome. She was never allowed to come in here by her parents and she never went alone without Billy. As she was looking around, her elbow accidently jabbed the person next to her. "Sorry about that!"
"Watch the fuck where you're moving, Jesus." Cussed out a voice, a very familiar voice. Connie turned her head and was shocked at who was sitting near her.
"Charlie?" The person next to her whipped his head and was as equality as shocked.
"Connie?" Charlie looked her up and down. "What are you doin' in here?" Connie just flipped her hair.
"Me and Billy were suppose to go with a couple of friends of mines to the football game, then to the Blue Point, but he got called away by you Cobras to fight some other guys in Chamberlain." Then Connie realized something. "Wait, why aren't you with them?"
Charlie's cheeks started heating up. "My mom wouldn't let me." Hearing that, Connie burst out laughing until a glare from Charlie silenced her. "My sister staying with us for a few days."
This peak Connie's interest. "You have a sister?"
"Yeah," Charlie frowned as he started, "Real nice too. Always got good grades, everybody always tellin' me to be more like her, even her, but then she got knocked up and married this no good son of a whore."
Connie placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it in sympathy. "Sorry to hear that."
"And the worst part is, she keep trying to boss me around. 'You shouldn't be spending all your times with those deadbeats', 'Why don't you focus on your studies so you can go to college' Who the hell are you to talk? You couldn't even go to college because of your baby!" Charlie fumed, but then tried to calm down.
"You make me realize how lucky I am with my sister. All she makes me do is pay her to help me cover up my lies." Connie snickered and even Charlie joined in. "You here because you need a break?"
"Yeah, the kid been crying his lung out all evening. I told my sister I would go out and get some milk so I could get away from them."
"But you came here instead?" Connie asked raising an eyebrow.
"I'm going to get the milk!" Charlie insisted, then gave a sly smile. "I didn't say I would get right away."
"You sure are a smooth one Charlie." Connie joked.
"Yeah, I'm a genius." Charlie proclaim loudly, puffing out his chest, clearly not picking up Connie's joking tone.
Connie will admit, it was a little surreal chatting with Charlie, just the two of them. Not that she hasn't spoken to Charlie before, it just that it was usually when Billy was around or if he was to see them off when she and Billy would double date with whatever girl Jack or Vince were dating.
Then again, Charlie Billy's friend, not so much her's.
~~An hour later~~
"And then, the guy drove straight into the old barn." Charlie then burst out laughing after finishing up his story.
"Wow, it sounds like you boys are always up to some crazy shit." Connie commented.
"Never thought I'd hear a Catholic girl swear." Charlie teased.
"Well, I can't be a good girl all the time, or else I wouldn't be going out with Billy." She smiled.
"Yeah." Charlie agreed. Then he stared hard at her for a few second. This made Connie start to feel uncomfortable.
"What?" She pouted.
"You look very pretty tonight." Was all he said.
"T-Thanks…?" Unsure of what he was getting at.
"Billy's a retard for cancelling his date just to deal with some assholes Ace pissed off. If I was him, I'd tell 'im to fuck off, I'm spending my night with my girl." Charlie proclaimed displaying the most seriousness she's seen since she started talking him.
"Would you if you were in Billy's place?" Connie asked, almost impressed by Charlie bravado.
"Man, hell no. You don't say things like that to Ace, it's a good way to get the shit beat out of you." Connie just rolled her eyes.
"Well, I better be getting back home. It's almost nine o' clock." Connie told Charlie as she got off her stool and stretch. Charlie's face suddenly turned ghost white.
"Shit, it's almost nine?! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!" Charlie muttered frantically. Connie just stared at him confused until it suddenly clicked.
"The milk." She sighed, putting her face into her palm.
"My sister never gonna stop pissing and moaning about this if I go back without milk, and the stores are going to be closing soon, and I don't have any money left. Shit! Shit! Shit!"
"Charlie. Charlie! Calm down," Connie pleaded to him, putting her hands on his shoulders to settle him. "Here!" She then went into her purse and got out a couple of dollars. "This should be enough for you to buy three milks. Just tell her it was a long line. A very, very long line."
Charlie kept looking back and forth from the money to Connie before taking the money and smiling at her.
"Thanks Connie, you're a life saver." Snatching the money, Charlie ran out of Irby's, hoping to reach the supermarket before it closes up.
"No problem." She watched him leave in a rush. She wouldn't mind talking to him again.
Connie was currently speeding down the road in your stingray, so fast a cloud of dust was being left in her wake. Her entire attention was focus on the house just in front of her. After reaching her destination, she got out her car and went straight to the front door, knocking on it loudly.
"Billy?" She called out. Nothing. She knocked louder. "Billy? Billy! Open up in there! Billy?! Billy!" More silence. She kept knocking and shouting until the doorknob turn and twisted open. She looked down and saw the younger Tessio boy looking at her.
"Oh, hi Vern." Connie calmed down after seeing who it was. Then she leaned forward and asked in the sweetest tone she could muster, "Vern, do you know where your brother is?"
"Oh, he's hiding in the kitchen." Vern told her, pointing over his shoulder to the right.
Billy slowly stuck out his lightly bruised head from the kitchen opening.
"Traitor." He whispered under his breath at him.
Connie just brushed past Vern. "Billy! What were you doing running around town with another girl las night?"
Billy just shot Vern a glare that made him shrink back before turning to his girlfriend. "Conns, I wasn't with a girl last night, I was in Chamberlain fighting in a rumble."
"Don't lie to me, Beverly told me today she saw you with some redhead when she, Sharon, and the boys were leaving the game."
"That girl? We were only giving her a ride." Billy told Connie. She just crossed her arms and was tapping her foot, clearly not believing him. "Connie, you have to believe me." He pleaded, but her posture remained unchanged. "Okay, how about this, why don't I take out for a milkshake, then we go see a drag race. Come on, it'll be fun." Billy suggested, trying to give the warmest smile he could. Eventually she unfolded her arms and rolled her eyes. "Good, I'll pick you up later today."
"I'll hold you to it." Connie snickered, relived some of the tension had died down. Billy then let out a laugh and bent down to give her a peck on the lips, which see happily returned.
The crowd was full of energy as various teenagers were gathered around to watch the latest contestants prepare for their race. Connie was snuggling against Billy, who currently has his arm wrapped around her chest. All the teens were present at an old rarely used road as two cars pulled up. A girl got between them, raised her hands, and then threw them down, signaling them to start. Afterwards the two immediately sped off.
"So who do you think is going to win?" Connie asked her boyfriend.
"I think Donny has a chance, but Steve just gotten a new engine installed, and you should just hear it purr." Billy gave his opinion, holding her closer. The two cars were heading back. The green car getting the lead until the blue rolled up, ram into it, and sped up, crossing the imaginary finish line. The crowd erupted in cheers.
"Tough luck for Donny, I guess." Connie commented. Billy turned to her and smiled, before leading in and capturing her lips in a kiss. Connie smiled against his lips as she put her hand behind his head, deepening the kiss.
"Hey lovebirds, stop sucking face and pay attention the race!" Called out a voice. The two immediately broke apart and looked to see who it was. Billy just rolled his eyes at the blond male snickrring at them.
"Another car hasn't even rolled in yet Hogan." Billy said deadpan.
"I see you weren't banged up too much from the rumble." Charlie noted.
"Wait until you see the cuts I have under my shirt." Billy told him.
"Hi Charlie." Connie greeted.
"Hey Connie." Charlie said back.
"Did you get the milk? I hope you're sister wasn't too hard at you." She asked him.
"She yakked my ear off at being irresponsible while her baby was hungry, but she cooled off." Charlie told her and she nodded.
Billy looked back and forth at them. "Am I missing something here?"
Connie looked at him. "While you were gone, I ran into Charlie over at Irby's. He told his sister that would get her some milk, but lost track of time, so I help him out."
"You went to Irby's by yourself?" Billy questioned, looking angry.
"Y-Yes?" She told him, feeling uneasy.
Charlie looked back and forth from him. "But it was alright man, I was there. Don't worry, I was looking out for her."
Billy just rolled his eyes. "Charlie, you can't even look out for someone stealing your beer." Then Billy turned to his girlfriend. "Babe, promise me you'll never do anything stupid like go to Irby's by yourself. You're a girl, you can get hurt."
Connie just gave him a scandalous stare.
Billy gave a relaxed smile. "Good." Then he tried to hold her again before she shuffled out of his grasp.
"It's getting a little hot over there, I'm just going to stand here where it's cooler."
"No, it's okay." Connie told him, crossing her arms. Billy looked away sheepishly.
Charlie just looked at them before returning his attention back to the race. Two different cars rolled up.
Hours passed as various cars came and go. Connie still refused to come any closer to Billy. Charlie would occasionally turn his head back and look at them. Though, more than not, he found himself looking back just to look at Connie. Couldn't figure out why.
Two more cars pulled up until a random teen ran up and started shouting.
"The Sheriff coming! The Sheriff coming!"
"Shit!" Billy and Charlie said under their breaths. Connie looked around as teens started scrambling away frantically.
"Come Babe, let's get out of here!" Grabbing her hand, Billy pulled Connie as they tried to make their way to his car. It was hard moving around as different teens kept running in every direction.
"Billy!" Connie called out, feeling his grasp on her hand slipping.
"What!" Billy called out.
"Billy!" She tried again.
"Connie? Connie!" But eventually the forces of the other bodies around them cause him to let go of her, making them separated.
"Billy! Billy!" She called out, but she could barely see him. Connie tried making her own way to his car, but she kept being pushed every which way and there. Eventually, a rather large teen knocked her down to the ground. "Biiiilllyyyy!" She called out, but it was drown by various voices and the sound of a siren ringing through the air.
"Connie!" Someone shouted.
"Billy?" She pondered. A hand grabbed her and pulled her up. She looked up to see if it was her boyfriend, but instead it was Charlie. "Charlie?"
"Come on!" Grabbing her, Charlie led her through the groups, pushing anyone out of their way. For a rather skinny guy, Charlie was really able to push them away with ease. Soon, they made their way to spot that will make it easier for them to get by.
"Thanks Charlie, I owe you one." Connie panted.
"It's nothing." He panted back. "I just saw you and I couldn't leave you there. Come on, Billy over there." They kept moving and as he said, there was Billy standing by his car next the entrance.
"Thanks Charlie. I guess I owe you another one." Connie smiled at him.
"It's nothing really. Just helping out my buddy." Charlie reassured her, smiling.
"Still." Connie shrugged. She started making her way over to Billy, but then turned around and walked back towards Charlie.
Charlie looked confused. "What? Did you forget something?" He motioned to the crowd.
She smiled at him. "No, it's just…" Then Connie got on her tippy toes and gave Charlie a quick kiss on the cheek. "Thanks." Then she left and joined up with Billy.
Charlie stood there, mouth gaping open. He slowly brought his fingers up to his cheek and lightly touched where Connie kissed him, feeling a tingle.
That night, Charlie was in his room lying on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. Charlie's room was moderate. It had a drawer, a nightstand, a clock, a lamp, and a book shelf, not that Charlie ever read. Under his bed was a stack of Playboys he had borrowed from Eyeball and a few cartons of cigarettes.
As Charlie stared into space, the events of today kept rolling in his head: Dad watching TV to see what was on today. Mom and his sister hanging laundry in the backyard. Taking his nephew to the park to crawl around. Fuzzy telling him about the latest chick he scored with. Going to the drag races. Connie kissing him on the cheek.
That last one made him press his palms into his eyes. He has no idea why that moment kept replaying in his head over and over. She's Billy's girlfriend. Billy's his best friend. He was just helping her get to where Billy was. He was just doing his buddy a favor.
Jumping, Charlie sat up and saw his sister, June, looking at him with her hands on her hips. Eyebrow raised by his sudden outburst.
"If you're finish day dreamin', dinner done. Go wash up." She told him then left. Charlie just sighed, then closed his eyes and exhale, but when he did that that kiss Connie gave him played back in his head again. And what was worse is that the tingling feeling returned to his cheek.
He slams his face into his pillow and groans into it. He wonders if he's ever going to get that girl out of his head.
Connie could never forget the first time she met Billy.
She, Sharon, and Beverly were leaving school and discussing what their plans were for today.
"I was thinking we could all go to Portland, heard they were setting up a carnival there. I could use this chance to work on my arm." Sharon suggested, whining her arm to demonstrate.
"I don't know, I have homework to do, and Mrs. Signwell won't let me hear the end of it if its turned in late." Beverly countered.
"It's Mrs. Signwell, that woman always trying to start something up." Connie said. "I swear, that woman acts like she as a bee stuck up her pu…" She paused when she looked across the street and saw a boy about her age kicking his car.
"Connie? Yoo hoo, Connie?" Sharon called out, waving her hand in front of Connie's face to wake her up from her daze. She eventually snapped out of it. "What's with you?"
"That boy." Connie pointed to the person, "Have any of you seen him before?"
"Him?" Beverly asked, then her face soured when she saw who she was pointing too. "Oh, that's Billy Tessio. Heard he has a thing for being a wannabe ladies man."
"He also hangs out with that trash Ace Merrill." Sharon commented also. "Let's get out of here before he sees us." Sharon tried to lead the others, but Connie started walking over to him. "Connie? Connie!"
"Come on work you stupid piece of shit!" Billy grunted as he tried to jump start his car. Giving up, he turns and wipes the sweat from his forehead when he sees a petite girl walking towards him. "Uh… hi."
"Hi." She waves at him. Then she leans and looks at the car. "Having problems?"
"Yeah, the thing won't start. It just…" Then Billy preceded to start kicking the car again. Quirking a brow, Connie walked over to it.
"Could you lift the hood?" She asked. Billy was surprised by the request, but did it anyway. He watched as she lean forward and looked inside.
"I see. Come here." He did and Connie proceeded to show him what was wrong.
"You know a lot about cars!" More of a statement than a question.
Connie shrugged. "I have a cousin who works in at gas station; he tells me a thing or two."
"Wow, never expecting a girl to know anything about cars." Billy commented casually as he got to work. Connie just gave him a face, but he didn't see it.
"Connie? Are you done talking to him?" Sharon asked her as she and Beverly came over, clearly getting worried. "Come on." She grabbed her wrist and tried to leave.
"That should do it." Billy said as he slammed down the hood. "These your friends? Want me to give you all a ride."
"That's fine, we can make it on foot." Sharon told Billy, giving him a stern look.
"Really? It's no problem." Billy reassured them as he got in his car and turned on the ignition. Then he looked directly at Connie. "Are ya going to get in or what?"
But despite the rude question, she agreed as did Beverly and Sharon, though reluctantly. After dropping her friends off, Billy asked her out and she agreed. One date became two dates, and then two dates become seven. And here they were now, sitting in back of his car, having a heavy make-out session. The sun was setting and changing the sky was a bright orange to a deep blue. Connie just sighed to herself as she enjoyed being in Billy's warm embrace. When he tried to slip his hand under her blouse, she grabbed it.
"No." She simply told him before kissing him again. A few seconds later, he tried again. This time, she was more firm. "Billy, I said no."
Billy pouted. "Come on babe, it's my birthday." He flashed a cheeky smile. Connie just rolled her eyes.
"Billy, you're birthday was seven months ago." She folded her arms.
Billy just groaned. "Come on babe, we've been going out for almost a year. Are we ever gonna do it?"
"I just don't think I'm ready to go that far yet." Billy just threw his head back and let out a deep sigh. Connie just hugged herself. I think I just ruin the moment, she thought to herself.
"It's okay babe." Connie looked at him. "Hey, the guys are having a campfire out in the woods, and Ace said he's bringing some beer. You want to go?" He looked at her hopefully.
Billy watched her carefully as she seem to be complementing the idea before giving him his answer in a head nod. He smiled.
"Alright then, let's go."
It had gotten darker by the time they reach their destination. Billy parked where they saw a bunch of other cars parked around. The woods were incredibly pitched black and it was kinda spooky. The only light in the area was the large orange fire illumination through the trees. As they got out of the car and got closer, they could hear chatter and people moving about.
Connie looked around, she could see various Cobras spread about, talking, drinking, or trying to do some crazy stunts. She could also see other teens that she'd seen around town, but suspected they weren't fellow Cobras. Near the fire, she saw Eyeball Chambers taking a sip of his beer, talking to none other than man himself Ace Merrill. He stood with his arms cross, the fire causing his hair to shine out more than it usually did, his gaze solid as he surveyed the site looking like he owned the place. Ace caught sight of Billy and Connie and nodded at them.
"You know half these guys?" Connie asked looking around.
"A couple," Billy told her, "Just a few guys the other guys hang out with when we're not all together." That makes sense, she thought, as the Cobra wouldn't always be together all the time. "Want me to give you a beer?"
She just shook her head. "I think I'm just going to go look around." Billy just nodded.
"Okay, I'll save a beer for you though." He called out to her. Connie just kept walking until she bumped into someone.
"I'm sorry, I was just—hi Charlie." She greeted once she saw who it was. Charlie, upon realizing who he had bumped into, quickly left and went somewhere else.
"So Billy, how's it going?" Eyeball asked him as Billy made his way over to Ace and him.
"Eh, shitty. Connie not giving it up yet, saying she's ain't ready yet." Billy told him.
"What did I try to tell ya about those Catholics." Ace reminded him.
"Oh what's wrong Billy, getting blue balls!" Vince Desjardin laugh out. Billy just rolled his eyes.
"Knock it off." Billy warned him, punching him lightly in the shoulder.
"Well it's a pretty good night to try and score with someone. The moon and the stars do look pretty tonight." Eyeball commented, looking up at the sky.
"Yeah, yeah, that's why I brought her here. I figure if I get a couple of beers in her, it might loosen her up a bit."
"Thatta boy." Ace patted his shoulder as Eyeball and Vince cheered. Charlie, who was standing by them as he heard their conversation, just rolled his eyes in disgust.
The night continued on and Connie couldn't say she was having any fun. She found herself mostly staying to herself. Occasionally she would make some small talk with other party members and Billy would once in a while try to offer her a beer, but she kept declining it. But something weird also happen that night as every time Connie saw Charlie or tried to talk to him, he would always run away. It was confusing her. Eventually she asked one of the few remaining party goers if they had a cigarette she could borrow and a match. She went into a clearing to take a smoke and when she got there, she found out she wasn't alone.
"Charlie!" She exclaimed happily. She flinched a little when she saw Charlie jumped a bit.
"Uh… hi Connie." Charlie greeted, uncharacteristically shyly.
Connie looked at him concern. "Charlie, is something wrong?"
"Nope. Nothing." He quickly said, trying to avoid her gaze. Connie just looked at him, but decided the drop it for the time being. The two just stood there in silence. The only sound being made was the sounds of their cigarettes being puffed and the exhaling of smoke from their mouths.
"Charlie?" She asked again.
"I know we don't know each other very well, but I think there's something on your mind that's getting to you. Whatever it is, I want you to know you can always talk to me about it." She told him softly.
Charlie felt his face heat up. "It's not really something I can talk to you about."
"What is it?"
"I can't tell you."
"What is it?"
"I can't tell you goddamn it!" Charlie practically screamed at her, then he regretted it when he saw her look visibly scared. "Sorry."
"Charlie, whatever it is, you can tell me, I won't laugh at you if that's what you're thinking. Tell me." Then, as if to reassure him, she even flashed the sweetest smile at him.
Charlie just stared at the smile and almost seemed to be mesmerized by it.
"Well?" She cocked her head at him.
"It's… uh… it's… Billy…. I… uh!" Charlie groaned and ran his hands through his hair.
"Charlie?" She asked him.
"I… I… uh fuck it." And with that, Charlie grabbed Connie by the shoulders and kissed her hard on the lips.
To say Connie was shocked would be an understatement. It was hard for her to figure out what emotion she was feeling at the moment. Charlie, her boyfriend's best friend, was kissing her right now. She shakily put her hands on his forearms and grips them, whether to try and push him off or pull him in closer, she couldn't figure out. Just as Charlie was about to snake his hand behind her waist, they hear a rustling in the bushes and the two break apart.
Charlie tries his best to look casual and Connie tries to straighten herself up. Charlie pats his pants to find his cigarette pack and takes out his last stick. He tries to light it up and when he turns to look around, he sees Eyeball. Shit.
"Man that party was wild woo!" Eyeball loudly exclaimed. "Hey Connie, Charlie here not bothering ya, is he?" He asked, looking between them.
"No, we were just out here having a smoke." Connie told him. Charlie just stood there, looking at Eyeball. From the way he kept shifting his gaze back and forth, Charlie starts fretting if he saw them or if he did, how much. Connie also seem to sense this as she flash a bright, but bland smile as if to show nothing was wrong.
"Really, where's your cigarette?" Eyeball asked her, crossing his arms.
"I drop it?"
"Well, Billy looking for ya, says he ready to take you home. I think you can still find him at the fire." Connie just nodded at him.
"Thanks, I better get going." She told him as she started to leave. "I'll see you later Charlie." Her eyes meet his, but then he looks away. Eyeball watches her leave before turning to look at Charlie, a hard expression on his face.
"Alright Hogan, what the hell was going on here?"
"Eyeball, it's like Connie said, we were just having a smoke!" Charlie told them. Eyeball just shook his head, clearly not believing him
"Just smoking huh? Well you sure were acting like you two were doing something other than having a smoke. I swear to god man, if you were doing what I think you were doing…" Charlie flinched. He hated being reprimanded. Its one thing to be reprimanded by your folks or your sibling, but when it's your friends doing it?
"Did you see anything?" Charlie was almost afraid to ask.
"The bush was blocking my view, but I saw you two being really close before you jump away." Then Eyeball's expression softens and he ran his hand through his curly hair. "Look man, I don't know what you and her were doing, or if you were trying to make a move, but whatever it is your thinking don't. Billy's your pal and you don't stab your pal in the back like that."
Charlie understood what he was talking about. About three years backs before he and Ace started up the Cobras, Eyeball used to pal around with this guy Tim Dawson. They weren't exactly best friends, but they got along pretty well. Things were going fine between them until one day Eyeball caught Tim making out with this girl he had been going out with for awhile. Since then, it cause Eyeball to have some serious trust issues, hence why he never brings his dates along with him whenever he was hanging out with the guys.
"Thanks Eyeball." Charlie breathed, he truly was grateful. "So I'll see you tomorrow?"
"You bet man."
Connie was in the bedroom she shared with her sister. Billy had dropped her off an hour again, and she was lying in bed trying to comprehend what had happen. How could Charlie kiss her like that? Why was he thinking?! He knew she was with Billy so what made him think he could kiss her like that!
But the more she thought about the kiss, the more she realized she didn't exactly not liked it. She had to admit, though he doesn't appear to be all that experience, he wasn't a bad kisser. His lips were pretty soft despite how rough the kiss was. In fact, the more she thought about the kiss, the more her anger started to melt away. It was almost as if she… actually liked it.
Connie rolled over to her side. She really needed someone to talk to about this right now. She looked at Ann sleeping soundly from the other side of the room. She thought about waking her up to talk about this, but decided against it when she remembered Ann was only ten and still thought boys were the most disgusting things on the planet. Maybe she could talk to Sharon when she saw her tomorrow.
"Connie?" Called out a voice. She looked and saw her mother standing in the hallway. People always commented on how she and her mother were the spitting image of each other: same brown hair and brown eyes and kittenish nose. Only difference is that her mother had streaks of gray forming in her hair. "What are you still doing up dear? You have school tomorrow."
"Mama, I need to talk to you." Connie told her as she sat up. Her mother made her way over and sat down beside her.
"What is it dear?"
"It's about a boy." She watched as her mother cringe slightly. She never did like talking about the 'B' word.
"Is it Billy?"
"I'm not sure anymore." Mrs. Palmero looked concern.
"What do you mean Connie? Did he try to do something?"
"No, it's just that… I think I'm maybe developing feelings for someone else." Connie looked down, ashamed.
"Really?" Mrs. Palmero inquired, eyebrow raised and a slight curve of the mouth. Connie had to keep herself from rolling her eyes. She knew her mother never liked Billy and was probably jumping for joy inside her head at the prospect of her falling for another boy. Though, she's sure her mother wouldn't like it if she knew her daughter might be falling from one hood to another.
"It's just… me and Billy have been together about a year now, and I've always been happy with him, but now someone else has come in and I'm sure what I want anymore."
Mrs. Palmero ran her fingers up and down her daughter's back to help sooth her. "Follow your heart. The one who you really feel for will become clear pretty soon." Connie smiled up appreciably at her.
"Thanks Mama, I'll definitely let my heart show me the way." Mrs. Palmero kissed her daughter on the forehead and tucked her in.
"I'll see you in the morning."
"Mmm, night Mama."
"Keep your head in the game, Hogan." Ace told Charlie as he seem to space out.
"What? Sorry Ace." Snapping back into attention. Ace and Charlie were at Irby's playing a game of pool, but Ace was starting to get annoyed at Charlie's absent-mindedness.
Ace leaned down and positioned his cue before shooting the white ball. A few solid colors went down the holes.
"You're up next… Charlie?"
"Right. Right man." Charlie tried shooting next, but kept missing the ball. This started to officially piss Ace off.
"Alright Hogan, what's with you? You're acting like some addict who hasn't gotten their fix yet." Ace asked him, looking him dead in the eyes. Charlie could feel his stomach get queasy under the stare of the Castle Rock's resident bad boy. So Charlie decided to tell him, figuring he had nothing to lose.
"It's a girl." Ace cocked his eyebrow at this.
"She hot?" Charlie chuckled at this.
"Yeah, she's quite the looker." Ace patted his shoulder.
"Way to go man, who is she? Do I know her?" Oh shit.
"Uh… uh…" Charlie tried to think of something quick. "She just moved into town." Ace raised an eyebrow.
"Didn't hear anything 'bout anyone new moving in lately." Ace commented as he return to their game.
"Well, it's only from one of the other towns nearby, so it's not a big move." Charlie said, hoping Ace would believe his lie. The way he nodded his heads made it seem like he was.
"You like her?" *Clank*
"Yeah man, I do." Charlie told him as he got ready to make his shot.
"Well what's holding you back?"
Charlie took his shot. "She has a boyfriend."
Ace actually seemed shock by this. "You plannin' on stealing another man's girl?"
"I wasn't plannin' anything." The skinny blond male groaned.
"Does she seem into you as you are into her?" Charlie actually pondered about this.
"I don't know, maybe?"
"Then you better find out." Ace looked up at him before focusing back on the ball. Just a few balls left.
"If she doesn't tough titties, if she does convince her to ditch the asshole and get with you." Charlie thought over Ace's advice and decided to go for it.
"Yeah, you're right. Thanks Ace." Dropping his cue, Charlie ran out of Irby's.
"Where the fuck do you think you're going? We still have a game to finish!" Ace called out to him.
Connie was walking down the street in search of Charlie Hogan. Since she didn't regularly hang out with Billy's friends, she didn't have a clue where he usually goes after school. She consider going to Irby's, but didn't want to risk Billy's anger if he found out. She did consider asking Billy, but he might get suspicious. Maybe she could ask Vern? Surely he could have overheard them talking about some place they usually go.
She was starting to consider just using the phone book when she turned a corner and ran into just the man she was looking for.
"Hi Connie!" God she looked so cute in her little skirt and blouse, hair and nails down, and her make-up flawless.
"I was just looking for you." Connie smiled at him.
"Yeah, I wan-" He interrupts by grabbing her by the hand, drags her behind a building, looks around, and then crashed his lips onto hers. He pulls back and pauses to see what her reactions is and feels his heart skip a beat as Connie kisses him back just as strongly.
He couldn't believe it, this was actually happening. He wrapped his arms around her to pull her closer, then spun around and lightly pushed her against the wall, a small thud vibrating through their bodies. They continued their kiss, Charlie running his fingers through her hair as Connie just rest a hand on his cheek. She looked disappointed when Charlie moved from her mouth and started nipping her neck. When he pulled again, he looked her dead in the eye.
"Let's go behind the trash cans."
Okay, that wasn't the most romantic proposal, but she almost went along with it until she asked.
"Don't you know any place better?" Charlie thought about this. "We can go to my house. My folks are still at work and my sister, brother-in-law, and their kid are out visiting with some friends." Sounding like a plan, they started their journey to Charlie's house. Charlie was actually surprise Connie agreed to go along with him. Both tried not to stand too close together, just in case anyone they know saw them and assume something. Eventually they reach the Hogan resident. Charlie unlocked the door and they went in. "All right, it's thi—oof!" Charlie yelp, accidentally tripping over a little wooden rocking horse.
"That your nephew's?"
"Yeah, they're always leaving their crap lying around, come on!" Taking her by the hand again, he leads them to his bedroom. Once they're inside, he closes the door and turns his attention back to Connie. She runs up to Charlie, locks her fingers behind his neck and starts kissing him, which he does back fiercely. The two continue kissing until Charlie gently pushes her onto the bed and gets on top of her. His pants start to feel tight and both pretty much knew where this was heading.
"Connie, are you sure you want to do this?" She looked up into his eyes.
"You sure? You really sure?" Thinking it over, it really hit him about the predicament he found himself in. Here he was, in his room alone with his best friend's girlfriend, about to have sex with her. If Billy ever found out, he kicked his ass. Eyeball would no doubt partake in the ass kicking. Ace would probably kick him out of the Cobras. He is technically stealing his best friend's girl, and friend or not, that's disrespect.
Of course… if Billy never found out…
"It's okay." She told him softly, "Charlie I want this." Charlie just gazed at her before leaning down and kissing her again. His hand eventually finding its way up her blouse, her hands undoing his belt, the way he sucked the nerve on her neck and the way he smiled as she moaned in pleasure.
All thoughts of Billy Tessio disappeared from their heads that day.
And thus the start of this… relationship was form.
They both agreed to keep this a secret. At least until they both felt it was the right time to make this public. Both of them knew what would happen if they came out about it now: Charlie would get the shit beaten out of him by the Cobras and Connie would be seen as a disgrace by the Catholic Church.
However, they had come up with ways for them to see each other without anyone being none the wiser. Whenever Billy and Charlie would hang out with each other or with the other guys, Charlie would convince Billy to bring Connie along, telling him it would be good for her to get to know the other guys. So whenever they were at Irby's, the movie theater, the diner, or just out Connie would lie and say she has to use the ladies room. A few minutes later, Charlie would also announce he had to use the john, so that way they can share a few kisses and space out their returns.
Whenever the both of them wanted to be alone together, they would either meet up at places where they know their friends or anyone they knew wouldn't see them, go to the most secluded areas in Castle Rock, or they would borrow Vince's car and drive far out of town.
As much as it pissed Charlie off he couldn't show Connie how much he loved her in public, he tried his best to show her in his bed. Or in the back of Vince's car.
But, despite all the work they had to go through, they had manage to successfully keep their relationship a secret. Not one of their friends suspected anything. Though there was a time where one of them almost slipped up…
"What do you think?" Billy asked, holding the bottle of perfume up to Charlie.
"Didn't know you were into perfume, man." Charlie teased, getting a playful shove from Billy. They were in a store checking out various ladies perfumes.
"No, for Connie. Her birthday coming up." Billy told him. Charlie just nodded; he had to do something for her too. "You think he likes Lavender?"
"Rose. Definitely get her Rose." Charlie told him.
"Why Rose?" Charlie shifted his eyes.
"Uh… uh… because she normally smells like roses?" He was starting to get nervous but Billy eventually agreed with him. "So is this all you doing?"
"Nah, I was also gonna take her out to dinner and go with her friends to some church get together. Hopefully after I do this, she'll give me a little present next." Billy grinned.
"Still not letting you in those panties huh?" Charlie asked, slapping his hand on the other boy's shoulder.
Billy groaned. "Don't remind me! Close to a year and all I've gotten this far is tongue." He then ran his hand through his hair. "I'm thinking of breaking up with her."
Charlie tried his best to contain the excited grin that threaten to slip through. "Because she's not putting out?"
"I try to do all this nice shit for her, and what do I get back? Nothing. Jesus this girl a fucking prude." Billy complained. Hearing this made Charlie ball his fists, anger swelling inside him. Before he even realized what he was doing, he grabbed Billy by his shirt collar and started shaking him.
"Maybe if you knew how to treat a lady right, you wouldn't be having problems!"
"What?!" Billy exclaimed, never witnessing such anger in his friend's eyes before.
"Why don't you actually bother spending time with her instead of doing things you think are gonna get you laid? Connie a great girl and you don't even fuckin' deserve her!"
"What the fuck are you even talking about?!"
"Gentlemen!" called out a stern voice. Both young men look and saw a very miffed cashier glaring at them. "If you two can't pull your act together then I suggest you both leave this store."
Billy and Charlie looked at the cashier, then at each other before Charlie let go of the other boy's shirt collar and straighten each other out.
"Sorry, I'll just take this." Billy told the cashier meekly, putting the bottle on the table.
"What the hell was that about back there?" Billy asked his friend, confused over this sudden outrage. Charlie was scratching the back of his head and looking embarrassed.
"Sorry man, I don't know what came over me." Charlie then tried to think of the best lie he could think of that could explain this, "I guess my mom been making me watch too many romance movies with her." Billy just rolled his eyes.
"We really need to get you a girl man." Patting his friend on the shoulder. Charlie just laugh awkwardly.
"Yeah, a girl."
Charlie collapsed on Connie after he was spent. The two of them trying to catch their breaths before he rolled over and laid beside her. Neither of them spoke as they relish in the pleasure they had just experienced.
Connie was the first to speak. "I think we're starting to get better at this."
"Well, I do have some experience." Charlie told her. Connie looked at him with one eyebrow raised.
Charlie just smiled embarrassingly. "Nah," Feeling his cheeks heat up, "Bet I just made you a little jealous, didn't I?" Connie just rolled her eyes.
"I so did!"
"Uh, shut up!" Connie then hit him in the face with a pillow. Charlie laughed and hit her with his own pillows. This ended up causing the two the wrestle for a bit before he pinned her down. "So what are you gonna do now?"
Charlie just grinned before giving her a breathtaking kiss, which Connie moaned into, wrapping her arms around his neck. Eventually they broke apart and Charlie just rested his head on Connie's chest.
"Hmm?" He looks up.
"You hear about what's going on in the East? About Saigon and Vietnam? Things are getting pretty bad down there."
"Yeah, my folks were watching Walter Cronkite talking about it on the news."
"You think if things got worse, that you and the other guys might get called to go down there?" This question surprised him as sat up and looked at her. "You all will be turning eighteen pretty soon."
"Nah, I'm sure this whole thing will blow over before then." He told her as he lied on his back. "You think we can finally go public about us?"
Connie hadn't expected Charlie to bring this up now. "What makes you think now is the time?" He just rolled his eyes.
"Come on Connie, you and Billy barely ever see each other anymore nowadays and I'm tired of always having to look at you in public and knowing I can't hug you or hold you or even kiss you. I mean, I love you and I can only show it when no one around." Charlie complained. Connie was surprise by what she just heard.
"What did you say?"
"When no one around?"
"Hugging you and holding you?"
"Oh?" Then it dawn on him, "Oh. I said I love you." He smiled.
"Yeah," this time he said it more gutso. "I love you. Does this mean you love me back?"
"I think I have to go." Connie announce abruptly as she got out of bed and started getting dressed.
"I remember I was supposed to be home earlier today. Mama wants us the whole family to go see Ann's place. I'll see you later." Connie told him as she put her earrings back in.
"But?" Charlie tried to ask speak before Connie quickly left the room. "I knew I shouldn't have said that." Charlie groaned as he crashed his head into his pillow.
Connie couldn't believe Charlie had said that. He… loves her? As in actually loves her? This was her first time ever hearing those words. Not even Billy ever said he loved her. Once she reached her house, she quickly went to her room, saying hi to her parents before heading to her room, grateful Ann was out with some friends. Charlie said he was in love with her, but does she actually love him back? He was risking a lot being in this relationship with her and the lengths he goes through to help keep this a secret. Most guys wouldn't do this if this was merely a fling or he was just in it for the sex.
But once Connie started thinking about her own feelings, she realized she found herself enjoying her time with Charlie more than she did with Billy. And Charlie did mention how she and Billy almost never see each other anymore. Not to mention Charlie was actually a sweet, nice, not so bright, but decent guy. Plus he's pretty amazing in the sack.
The more she thought about Charlie, the more she could feel butterflies forming in her stomach. So much she had to press her stomach down to suppress them.
Maybe she did love him back?
Three years had passed. Connie and Billy had officially broken up, and he was currently now dating a Jewish girl. The Cobras had also disbanded, but some of the guys still keep in touch with each other. Charlie and Connie were still seeing each other, but both agreed to wait a little while longer before telling everyone about it. Mainly since it would look bad if they both got together immediately after she and Billy had broken up. Fortunately for them, word had spread out Billy would be moving out of Castle Rock very soon. Soon, they can finally and officially be together.
Connie was on her way to the Hogan residents to give Charlie the good news. Once she reached there, she knocked on the door and waited for Charlie to answer, only to be greeted by a older man. He must be Charlie's father.
"Can I help you?"
"Yes, is Charlie here?"
"I'm sorry, but he left for the bus station almost an hour ago." Mr. Hogan told her. Connie did a double take.
"Yeah, he got a haircut and left for the bus station."
"Where is he going?" He never told her he was going on a trip.
"The Army." Hearing those words made her blood run cold. "Um, young lady, are you okay." Connie then fled from the Hogan residents. Running as fast as her legs would carry her.
She arrives at the bus station, seeing various young men standing. She rushes past all of them, hoping to see Charlie. Eventually she spotted him in a long line of guys getting on a bus.
"Charlie!" She screamed. This caused him to turn around, his eyes widening.
"Connie, what are you doing here?"
"What am I doing here? What are you doing here?" She demanded. Charlie took a deep breath and answer.
"I'm joining the army."
"And you weren't even going to tell me?" She glared at him, hands on her hips.
"I was gonna leave you a letter. I thought by the time it reached you, I be long gone."
"Why couldn't you have told me in person? What if you get sent to 'Nam?" She asked him, tears forming in her eyes.
Charlie sighed, "Because I know you would try to stop me. And I might not even get sent to 'Nam. There's also Japan or Germany, I'm joining the army, I didn't get drafted."
"But why the Army?"
"Because I'm not doing anything with my life. There's really nothing here for me. I wanna do something before I'm an old man. I mean, what do I have here?"
Connie smiled. "You have me." And then, she grabbed his face and gave him a deep kiss, not caring if anybody or everybody saw them or not. "I love you." Charlie stared at her flabbergast, then his face broke out into a smile.
"I love you too."
"Write back to me ok?"
"I'll write to you every day." Suddenly the bus driver announced final boarding call. "Gotta go."
"Bye." She waved goodbye tearfully.
"Way to go Charlie! Woo!" Both looked up and saw Vince cheering from inside the bus. Both then looked at each other and chuckled embarrassingly. Eventually Charlie boarded the bus, waving goodbye to Connie.
"I will come back for you!"
"I'll be waiting." And then the bus took off, she could hear Vince shouting, 'What the hell do you mean you two did it in the back of my car?!' Connie just laughed.
"Today's the day!" Connie squealed once she realized what day it was. Connie was quickly running through the house to the front door.
"Connie, what day is it?" Mrs. Palmero asked as she was currently doing Ann's hair.
"Today the day Charlie comes back home and I want to greet him at his house." Connie told her, barely able to contain herself.
Mrs. Palmero just laughed at this, "Have fun then dear." With that, Connie left. She had reach the Hogan residents, she couldn't wait to see Charlie again. Now they can finally be together.
However as she got closer, she saw a man in a military outfit at the door, Mr. and Mrs. Hogan were talking to him.
"What's going on? Where's Charlie?" She asked as she got closer. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hogan looked depressed and the man in uniform turned to her.
"I'm terribly sorry."
The funeral was rather small. Family members and friends had all gathered. Even a few of the former Cobras were also there. She was surprised that Verno had shown up. As far she knew, he and Charlie weren't exactly the best of friends. Maybe he was there on Billy's behalf. The minister drown on about how this was God's plan, what Charlie left behind, and how he was in a better place. Connie was just crying through the whole thing.
She had lost the love of her life.
A/N: Phew! Spent a whole week working on this. Tell me what you think?