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today's another day to find you

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Scarlett thought it was a little weird that the only thing Mark wanted for his eighteenth birthday was to have dinner with her family. She hadn't been that young in longer than she cared to admit, but she was pretty sure most seventeen-going-on-eighteen year old boys were more interested in alcohol and pornography than having dinner atSasabune with his best friend, and his best friend's mom and sister.

But Mark always had been a little strange. Noami had told her that was to be expected, he was Ned's kid for Christ's sake, and - yeah, Scarlett couldn't really argue with that logic.

Besides, she should probably be glad he wasn't interested in the usual things. Mark and Alex were friends, and if Mark wasn't into that sort of thing, maybe there was hope for her son. Or maybe not.

Alex and Maggie both bailed on dinner at the last minute, Alex citing a basketball team bonding exercise and Maggie just deeming the idea too lame to consider. Mark had insisted that they go anyway, just the two of them. Scarlett had tried to say no, that was very inappropriate, but apparently it had taken Mark a long time to get the reservations, and she'd been craving lobster since he'd first mentioned it, so in the end she agreed.

Dinner was actually kind of... nice. Mark was a good kid, and funny. He kept her laughing all night, telling her ridiculous stories about Ned, and one that sounded suspiciously like the plot of Harry Potter, except without the wizards. Somehow he made that work.

God, he reminded her so much of Mike when he was a teenager. Physically, of course, that part was uncanny, but it was more than that. His sense of humour, his mannerisms, the way he laughed with his entire body - all of that was Mike to a T. Or it would be, if Mike wasn't a miserable bastard these days.

After dinner, Mark drove her home, let her pick the radio station on the way. Sure, he made fun of her choice of station (80s satellite radio) but he didn't even try to change it, just gave her this wide grin when he caught her humming along to Take On Me. And when the arrived back and her house, he turned off the car and walked her to the door with his hands stuffed nervously in his pockets, then stood with her on the front porch talking about A-ha. Jesus, how did he even know who they were?

She was so busy wondering about that that she hardly noticed when he leaned down (it really was unfair that he was so tall) and kissed her. Oh, she noticed alright, you didn't not notice when someone was kissing you like that, but it took her a few long minutes before it clicked in her brain that this was Mark and that he was seventeen and this was bad bad bad.

Eighteen now, a tiny voice in her head reminded her. And that was true, but -

No, no, "No," she said, abruptly stepping back and putting a safe distance between them. "Wait. We can't -" Whatever she was going to say there got lost pretty fast. Mark was still standing there, looking a little shocked and a lot turned on - Oh God, she should not be noticing that, she should not be looking, but she was and now she was turned on, dammit.

"You're right," he was saying, shaking his head as if he could clear it. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"

Scarlett watched him stumble over an apology, the apples of his cheeks flushing red (whether it was because he was embarrassed or turned on, she wasn't sure) just like Mike's did, and she snapped. That was the only explanation for why she was suddenly right back in front of him, cutting off his mumbled I'm such an idiot with a hot, full-body kiss. Her arms slipped around his shoulders, pulling him forward and arching up against him with her entire body.

His apologies turned into a surprisingly deep groan as his hands went immediately for her waist and he kissed her back with the kind of enthusiasm only a seventeen - eighteen - year old could manage. He sucked hard on her bottom lip, something she'd always loved, then tilted his head so that he could trail kisses along her jawline and down her throat, and that was the end of her ability to be rational about this. While Mark sucked on her neck, she took a few steps backwards, dragging him along, and fumbling for the doorknob.

If she was going to make a stupid decision, she was going to make it a really big one.

Once she had the door open, she tugged on Mark's shirt to get his attention. When he looked up at her, his hair was mussed and his eyes were glassy and he just - God. "Inside," she said quietly, already walking backwards into the house.

She didn't have to instruct him further. He shut the door behind them, then immediately started kissing her again as they walked back to her bedroom. Somehow he knew all the potential traps along the way better than she did, and twice he stopped her from bumping into a table or a cabinet. She didn't give it much thought, though, because she was more than a little distracted with running her hands over his chest and shoulders, down his back, learning how he felt underneath her hands.


Even though her kids weren't home, Scarlett made sure they were all the way to her bedroom before either one of them lost any clothing. On the list of things she didn't want to ever explain to her children, why Alex's friend Mark's clothes are strewn throughout our hallway was now firmly at the top. But as soon as that door was closed all bets were off - starting with her dress, which was unzipped and in a pool on the floor before she even realized Mark was going for it.

Before she could say anything, or do much more than push his suit jacket off his shoulders and to the ground, Mark backed her up against the door and fell to his knees, his fingers sliding into the tops of her pantyhose and dragging them down with him. Her shoes were already off, somewhere, she didn't remember that part very well, but then again she was a little distracted by what was going on now. There was no way he was going to do what it looked like he was going to do, but then her pantyhose were off and -

"Oh God," she squeaked as she felt Mark slide her panties (she said a silent thanks to someone that she was wearing underwear that, while not exactly sexy, was a far cry from granny panties) down, then immediately press his tongue to her.

He laughed quietly at her outburst, and the vibrations shot through her as he licked and sucked and drove her out of her mind with want. She couldn't help the small noises she kept making, and she struggled to stay upright, even with leaning against the door. Without thinking, she reached down and used Mark for support, sliding one hand into his thick, messy hair and clutching at his shoulder with the other.

There was a small part of her brain still functioning enough to think that this was stupid, that it was ridiculous, that it was wrong. But then he started using his fingers, his really long, talented fingers, and within another minute Scarlett was coming so hard she could barely remember her own name, never mind all the reasons this was, maybe, the stupidest decision she'd ever made.

Mark dragged it out of her for a long while, but eventually eased off and raised his head to look at her, almost unconsciously wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Scarlett just stared at him for a minute, still shaking and thrumming with the intensity he'd made her feel - Jesus, she couldn't remember the last time anyone (Mike) had made her feel that way. But there Mark was, giving her this half-shy (shy, after doing that!), half-pleased smile as he climbed to his feet. She was struck by how adult he seemed right then, not at all like the uncertain, fumbling teenager he should have been.

He opened his mouth to say something, but she cut him off again, pulling him in close and rubbing against him as she kissed the taste of herself out of his mouth. When he pulled his head back, he was out of breath and his eyes were wild, and Scarlett figured she probably looked the same way. "Can I-" he started, then hesitated against asking. She knew what he wanted, though, because he was impossibly hard (that much she could feel for a fact) and he immediately thrust his hips against hers as he spoke. It was kind of endearing, in a way, that he couldn't (or wouldn't, out of respect) say it, and she took pity on him by not forcing the issue. Instead, she nodded and kissed him again, then started shoving at his shoulders and nudging him towards the bed.

Within seconds she was flat on her back, Mark looming over her in a way that she thought was somehow typical, even though she had absolutely never done this with him - or with anyone who wasn't Mike, for that matter - before.

She could tell Mark was getting kind of desperate at this point, rubbing his cock against her leg even though he was still dressed, which was flattering to the part of her brain that wasn't hung up on the fact that he was eighteen and probably horny for anyone with a pair of breasts. Still, it was - she wanted this, too, for some crazy, unknown reason. She wanted to know what he felt like, wanted to hear what sounds he made when he came.

Hurriedly, she brought her hands up and made quick work of his button-down shirt, pushing it off his shoulders and tossing it somewhere behind them, then immediately bringing her hands down to fumble with his belt buckle. Mark sucked in a sharp breath as her fingers rubbed against his cock, and Scarlett did it again just so that he'd repeat the noise, then quit teasing him and finished undoing his pants.

"Condom," she told him breathlessly, once she had his zipper down. "In the drawer. Table."

Somehow he understood what that meant, and he was up comically fast, kicking off his pants and boxers as he reached for the table and threw open the drawer in a rush. Scarlett was torn between laughing at the way he hopped around on one foot when he got stuck in his pant leg, and simply staring at the sight of him, gorgeous and so very, very naked in front of her.

She went with the latter option for as long as she could. Which was about five seconds before Mark was back leaning over her, kissing her and putting the condom on at the same time, with a sense of coordination about the whole thing that no eighteen year old should have.

"Ohmygod," he said desperately, his hips jerking erratically as soon as he was inside of her. "God, you-"

She what, Scarlett never found out, because Mark stopped talking after that, instead occupying his mouth with kissing her throat. He was still for a minute, then began moving his hips with long, powerful thrusts that felt incredible, made her gasp for breath every few seconds. Her hands stroked down his back, scratching lightly because Mike used to like that and for some reason she figured that meant Mark would, too. Why not? They were like the same person in every other way.

And of course Mark did, making a strangled sort of noise and pulling his head away from her throat so that he was looking at her, eye to eye. He was sweating, his hair sticking to his forehead in random clumps, and he looked like the effort of not coming was killing him. But there was something else there, too, in his eyes, that Scarlett couldn't quite put her finger on. It wasn't lust, and it wasn't fascination, but it was some strange mix of the two that inexplicably made her want to blush and bury her face in her hands. Which was a ridiculous reaction to have, but whatever that look meant, she was pretty sure she didn't deserve it.

There wasn't time for her to think about that any further, though, because all of a sudden Mark was kissing her again. His hands tangled in her hair as he started thrusting harder, faster, with a lot less finesse than he'd started out with. It still felt really good, though, and Scarlett twisted a little underneath him so that she could move her hips as well, meeting him each and every thrust.

Mark let out a long groan against her mouth, and it was obvious that he was losing his battle for self-control. His grip in her hair became tighter and he wasn't so much kissing her now as he was breathing hard against her mouth, but he didn't slow down his movements one bit. Out of nowhere, using that miraculous coordination he had, he untangled one hand from her hair and wriggled it in between them, roughly rubbing his fingers against herclit . Scarlett gasped loudly, her eyes going wide as she stared at him, blurry and out of focus in front of her, her pleasure rising again.

"Come on," he murmured, his voice oddly commanding but mostly just strained. "Come on, come on, come."

She gasped, first in surprise at his tone and then louder as she actually did, came again as he rubbed her hard and fast. Oh my God, she thought desperately as she shook and dug her fingers into Mark's back. How did he know-

"Scar," Mark groaned, kissing her one last time and then burying his face into the crook of her neck as he thrust once, twice more and came hard, his whole body vibrating in her arms as his orgasm took him.

And Scarlett thought, Mike.