Cherry Tart

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Babes

“Cherry Tart” is a follow up story to my first submission, “Calamine.” So, if you haven’t read that one yet, please do! There’s a good amount of character development and detail in this, so it takes a bit to get to the steamy parts…but the hot stuff does come. I promise ­čśë Also, this story is set in Mississippi during the mid-1970’s, so you’ll notice all the references to eight track tapes and old (but awesome) rock bands and bad d├ęcor. And, keep in mind, the English isn’t supposed to be proper. I tried to have fun with dialect. Hope you all enjoy the second part of Ginny and Emmett’s hot little tryst!

*****

October

Ginny pressed her warm temple against the cool glass window of the truck. It wasn’t quite full dark yet, and a sharp sliver of crescent moon hung white against the falling twilight. Out past the football fields, along the edge of tall trees behind the school, there were still traces of color in the sky. A faint smolder of amber and ashy violet bled into dusk, fading like watercolors. The air was crisp and smokey as it seeped in through the truck’s cracked window, and Ginny took in a long breath, watching the clouds’ pale hues slowly darken to indigo.

Autumn had arrived, quiet and sacred, turning all the southern fields to raffia. The thick summer air had finally thinned, and the moths had stopped circling the porch lights. Every roadside farm stand now offered stout, gnarly-skinned pumpkins as their fare, and apple cider had replaced sweet tea. Evening fell by six o’ clock, and the whole town went sleepy and hushed in early darkness. Up and down the streets, backyards had become quiet havens of crimson and gold, while dried, restless leaves tumbled along wooden fences and darted across front lawns. They rose and fell like breathing things in the silent corners of empty schoolyards and back alleyways.

Ginny listened to the haunting cry of a train whistle in the distance as two cheerleaders clad in tight sweaters and red pleated skirts passed giddily in front of their parked truck. The crowded football field had cleared out, and groups of teenagers gathered together in little huddles around the school parking lot. Most were dressed in frayed bell-bottom jeans and t-shirts branded with faded letters. Kiss. AC/DC. Pink Floyd. Some wore nubby woolen sweaters or jean jackets to ward off the chill, while others stood shivering in only thin cotton, their arms drawn up tight to their bodies. In an hour’s time, they would be lazing around in back bedrooms and musty garages, passing thick joints from hand to hand until they were burned down to nothing.

“I think Tina’s nose has gotten bigger.” Cora looked out through the dirty windshield, her eyes settling on the shortest of the two cheerleaders. Tina Durant was thin and bow-legged, but her breasts were famously large. Her long dark ponytail bounced cheerfully as she walked. “She must lie a lot.” Cora smiled over at Ginny, letting out a quick snort.

“No. It’s all the blowjobs. Jiz has a boatload of growth hormones in it. Don’t you know?” Belle didn’t look over at them as she said it. She just kept her eyes fixed on Tina, who smoothed down her red skirt and tightened her ponytail, unsuspecting.

“You just made that up.” Cora looked over at Belle then, and a moment later, the three of them burst out laughing.

Ginny sat in the warm, idling pickup truck, drinking Boone’s Farm wine with Annabelle Lane and Coralee Cooper. Over the summer, they had become three peas in a pod, a Monday, Wednesday and Friday night staple as they served up ice cream and french fries at the local Dairy Queen. Since May, they had become inseparable, their unlikely friendship blossoming quickly. Even Wayne Wimbly, their bald, portly manager, had teasingly nicknamed them chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. One brunette, one blonde and one redhead. Making friends had never come easy to Ginny, who had always been a painfully shy only child, but with Belle and Cora’s keen sense of adventure, her small, quiet world had suddenly opened.

“Drink up.” Belle passed the bottle of Strawberry Hill to Cora, who downed a long, dramatic swig, belched, then passed the bottle to Ginny. “We gotta get rid of it.”

Ginny turned the pink bottle skyward and swallowed hard, feeling the cheap wine slip warm and rot-gut sweet into her belly. She looked over at Belle and handed back the empty bottle, smiling.

Annabelle and Coralee couldn’t have been more opposite. The former was a Southern fried beauty who had a face that made men stop in the street and a figure that left their wives slack-jawed and green with envy. Her lithe, lanky ease and shimmering blonde mane made her one of those lucky girls who had the world at their feet, the kind who seemed destined to grace the cover of Seventeen Magazine. In the summertime, Belle never thought twice about traipsing down back dirt roads in just a string and triangle two piece and a pair of bright rubber flip flops. All the boys would whistle and catcall from the open windows of their dirty old trucks and yell out to her at the top of their drunken lungs. canl─▒ bahis ┼čirketleri “We fuckin’ love you!” She would just turn around and blow them kisses, content to display every bit of her dewy, flaxen beauty. Belle loved making all the boys pant like rabid dogs at the sight of her long, curved-up body, and she had once told Ginny, as they’d sat eating Popsicles on the crooked front porch of the Lane’s old plantation house, “I swear, boys are so easy. Just give ’em some boobs to look at, and you can pretty much have ’em crawlin’ ’round on their bellies, just itchin’ to please you.”

Cora, on the other hand, was a wild-ass tomboy. She was a better shot than any whisky-guzzling man in town, and she loved to fish. In fact, the summer before, she had won a local contest for snagging the biggest trout on record, knocking old Dell Whiting off the first prize podium he had held for six years. Cora’s thick red-brown hair was forever in a mess of snarls and tangles, and her deep hazel eyes were always on the lookout for the next beer keg bonfire down by the Indigo River. She smoked Lucky Strikes like her daddy, and every night, when she crawled into her unmade bed, Cora snuggled against a slobbering old hound named Cash. He was her one true love, and she called him her boyfriend. Whenever Ginny phoned up Cora to ask what she was doing, she would always get the same response. “I’m just sittin’ here with my boyfriend.”

Earlier that night, Annabelle’s older brother Robbie had gone out drinking with his dim-witted friend, Fletcher. They had peeled out in Fletcher’s brand new, cherry red Z28 Camaro, abandoning Robbie’s old truck, and that had been some good news, because after a round of teary-eyed begging and pleading, Annabelle had gotten her daddy to cave in and fork over Robbie’s keys. She had gotten permission to drive his pickup to the Friday night football game out at Boone High School.

It was a baby blue 1968 Chevy, and it already had its fair share of chipped paint and rust. The tires were caked up and crusted over with a thick layer of red dirt that could never fully be washed away, and both the front and back bumpers were a mess of dents and dings.

Ginny, Coralee and Annabelle sat inside on the truck’s long vinyl bench, watching the crowd disperse as they listened to music. Cora sat perched in the middle, leaning over every now and then to rummage around in a box of eight track tapes on the floor near Ginny’s feet.

“I wanna hear ‘Black Dog.'” Cora tossed Barry Manilow aside and made a sour face, wrinkling her nose. “Where did THIS come from?”

“It’s my dad’s…of course.” Annabelle rolled her eyes. “And Led Zeppelin’s in there, bitch. You just gotta look past your nose.”

Belle’s Virginia Slim had nearly burnt to the quick, and she took one long, last drag, flicking her ashes out the cracked window. A cloud of steel gray smoke collected in front of her as she exhaled slowly, and Ginny watched her pale blue eyes, the curl of her done-up, feathery black lashes as they roamed over a mill of people climbing down from the tall metal bleachers. She wore Maybelline lipstick in a bright red shade called ‘Cherry Tart’, and earlier, before they had walked out the door, Belle had reached over and slathered the same harlot’s balm onto Ginny’s full, bee-stung mouth.

“That color looks wicked hot on you, Ginny. It brings out your ‘fuck me’ lips.” Annabelle had handed her a white tissue and told her to blot.

“My what?” Ginny had felt a small giggle rise up from her belly.

“You got ‘fuck me’ lips. You know…the puffy kind that makes boys think you’d be good at suckin’ cock.”

“Oh my God, Belle! You are so crass, I swear.” Ginny had looked right into Belle’s clear blue eyes, and they had both cut up laughing.

“And you ain’t no fun.”

“How would you know? Maybe I am.” Ginny’s freckled face had caught fire, and she had wanted to eat her words, to take them back immediately.

“Oh, really? Well, praise Jesus! Miss Ginny Goodman does think ’bout them things. Now I see you’re just a dirty little birdie like the rest of us.” Annabelle had closed her marred-up bedroom door then, leaning back against it. She had stood in skin-tight jeans and a slinky blue t-shirt, her arms crossed defiantly, egging Ginny on.

“Say it!”

“What?” Ginny had done her best to hold back a growing smile.

“Cock!” The raunchy word had echoed across the old pine floors as Annabelle had yelled it out shamelessly, and Ginny had put a small hand over her mouth.

“No way!” She had pressed her lips together tight and shaken her head back and forth in protest.

Ginny had stood in the middle of Annabelle’s wild, bohemian style bedroom then, remembering the smooth, heavy feel of Mr. Cooper’s stiff part, swollen up big in her tiny palm, how she had worked him up and down eagerly, how he had made a warm, beautiful mess all over her tender belly. His cock.

“Say it!”

“No!”

“See. No fun at all.” Annabelle had given Ginny a bored little sigh, rolling her baby blue eyes in exasperation.

“Here.” canl─▒ ka├žak iddaa She had pressed the gold tube of sultry red lipstick into Ginny’s small hand.

“Take it. And put it to good use.”

“Really? You ain’t gonna use it?” Ginny had been tongue-tied and full of envy. Even with summer almost a month gone, Belle’s cover girl skin had still glowed sweet and sun-kissed in the dying light of early evening. Ginny had watched her friend run a pink Goody brush through her long goldenrod hair, and a moment later, Bell had flipped her head over and shaken out her thick, buttery locks. When she had finally stood upright again, she had leaned in close to the gold framed mirror above her cluttered dresser and taken a good long look at herself. With pursed lips, Belle had turned to the side, and Ginny had been more than jealous of the way she had filled out her snug little t-shirt like a Playboy centerfold.

“I got so many I think I can spare it. Besides, I stole it from Clement’s Drugs, so I ain’t out a dime, dirty birdie.”

“I ain’t no dirty birdie. Why you keep sayin’ that?!”

Ginny had felt her face grow hot again as she had thought on Emmett Cooper and the deep stroke of his tongue, how it had circled warm and steady against her most tender place. He had seemed downright famished for that soft, swollen-up girl part of hers, like he hadn’t been able to get his fill. He had given her slippery little cleft nothing but ceaseless attention from the moment he had pulled her white cotton panties down her slim legs.

A month had passed since that sweltering night on the Coopers’ big plaid couch, and still, Ginny would lie awake in bed at night, thinking of his hot mouth, and the way he had licked at all the warm, damp honey between her legs. The memory of it always made her restless, and she would toss and turn in her daisy printed sheets, pulling a pillow over her head in frustration.

“I can see it in your eyes, Jezebel. You’re thinkin’ dirty thoughts right now, even as we speak.” Belle had given her a sly smile.

“You’re a real piece of work, Annabelle Lane.” Ginny had just rolled her eyes and smiled, but her mouth had remained buttoned-up tight.

As they sat in the small, dusky parking lot, Ginny remembered the gold tube of lipstick that Bell had given her, its tacky, shimmery label reading, ‘Cherry Tart’. She felt around for it in the pocket of her red sweater. It was still there, warm against her fingers, and she bit back a little smile.

Cora suddenly pulled out a black eight track tape from Robbie’s box and held it up high. “Hot damn! I found it, ladies.”

She fed it into the open mouth on the truck’s dashboard and pushed play.

“Told you so. Well, put on ‘Black Dog’ already. I like it best.” Annabelle spoke it like a true queen bee, lighting up another long cigarette with her pink Bic.

“Keep your panties on. It’s the first track.” Cora rolled her eyes at Belle, and they sat listening until Robert Plant belted out, ‘Hey, hey mama…’

“Oh my God, look!” Cora suddenly pointed to a square, shiny something tucked half-way under Robbie’s cardboard box, the one filled with brightly colored eight tracks, crushed beer cans and one filthy looking white t-shirt. She reached down under the mess and retrieved a tiny golden packet.

“Looks like Robbie’s gettin’ laid good in this truck.” Coralee waved it in front of Ginny’s dark eyes with a big, knowing smile on her face. “It’s a rubber!”

Annabelle feigned a little gag, as if she were about to wretch.

“Please. I can’t even think ’bout my brother’s little pecker burrowed up inside some backwoods floozy.” Belle took another long drag off her cigarette and blew it out slow. “I guess it must be that mustache he’s growin’. Porn style facial hair makes all the chicks come a runnin’, don’t you know it? It’s like a regular ol’ fuck magnet.”

Annabelle’s voice rang with disgust, and Ginny was suddenly swept up in another fit of laughter. She loved Belle’s dirty mouth. It could put any drunken sailor to shame.

Belle reached across Cora and passed Ginny the rest of her cigarette. She took it from between Belle’s slim, painted fingers and drew in a deep drag. It brought a wicked sear of heat and menthol down into her lungs, and she coughed.

“What you got against facial hair, Annabelle? You don’t like all that redneck scruff?” Cora looked over at Ginny, and a silent smile passed between them. They both stifled their laughter.

“Yeah. What’s wrong with a little fur?” Ginny said it without thinking, and Cora and Belle busted up laughing.

“Fur? What the hell, Ginny? Sounds like you’re talkin’ ’bout some other place. Somewhere south.” Cora gave her a quick shove on the shoulder, and Ginny turned crimson.

“What? That’s what my mama calls it. You know…beards and stuff.” Ginny gave them both a bashful smile, shrugging her shoulders up and down.

“Your mama’s a weird ol’ lady.” Cora let out a snort, and Annabelle pulled a bad face.

“I swear, you two whores act like you’re eight canl─▒ ka├žak bahis instead of eighteen.”

“That’s right, Bell. ‘Cause you’re so ladylike and grown.” Cora gave Annabelle a smug smile and put her Converse clad feet up on the dashboard, snatching at the cigarette that Ginny passed over to her.

“Whatever. I don’t care what ya’ll call it. Kissin’ a guy with facial hair is like makin’ out with your daddy. Total barf.”

Ginny went silent with a deep sense of shame. It felt like she had just taken a round of buckshot to the chest, though they couldn’t possibly know the secret hidden up under her wings. She thought of Emmett’s scruff on her bare belly before he had kissed her down there. It had felt wonderful, like the slow drag of brambles across her warm skin.

“Whatever. And you just took the whole “kissing your daddy” thing way too far.” Cora let out a little guffaw, watching Annabelle’s face.

“I ain’t talkin’ ’bout your daddy, bitch.” Belle looked over at Cora, biting back laughter.

“You better not be. ‘Cause I might have to smack you silly.”

“I do like his tattoo, though.” Belle teased. “You know I’m gettin’ one. Soon as we graduate.”

Ginny pictured the faded ink on Emmett’s right upper arm, the shape of it shadowed in the dim heat of the Cooper’s small front room.

“Shut up, Annabelle.” Cora leaned forward and tied her shoelace. “And let’s get outta here, already. It’s cold as hell. You stayin’ over at my house tonight, Ginny? My daddy’s just carvin’ up pumpkins with Travis, so he ain’t gonna pay us no mind. They got a scary movie marathon goin’ on for Halloween, and I got some beers hidden up under my bed.” Cora wiggled her eyebrows up and down, smiling.

“Golly gee! Pumpkin carvin’ and spooky movies and skunky beer? Well, if you throw out bait like that Coralee, Ginny sure ain’t gonna be able to resist it.” Annabelle was only teasing, but Ginny could tell that she was jealous. She wanted to join them but had promised Robbie’s truck home safe and sound before midnight.

“Yeah. I guess I could stay.” Ginny ran her finger along the ragged, bitten down quick of her thumbnail. Her belly was already a mess of a thousand butterflies at the thought of Mr. Cooper’s red-brown hair and sturdy arms, but more than anything, those big hands of his, rubbing soft and teasing down between her legs.

Ginny looked over at Cora, then out at the white slice of moon. It was partially hidden, veiled behind red and gold leaves, its thin face peeking out at her.

“So, your daddy’s gonna be carvin’ up pumpkins?” Ginny’s heart was a runaway train against her ribs. She felt the throb of it behind her eyes.

“Uh-huh.” Cora reached down and began rummaging through Robbie’s box again. She pulled out Black Sabbath for the ride home. They would listen to the dark, heavy pulse of ‘Iron Man’ while Robbie’s truck flew past endless fields of dried brown sunflowers, their big, bald heads tipped down heavy in defeat. Miles of wrinkled corn and barren cotton would slip by the truck’s open windows, whispering in hushed tones, while now and then, the red glow of their flicked ashes would drift out into the cool night air.

“My mama usually carves up the pumpkins, but she’s workin’ down at Ruby’s tonight. She ain’t gonna be home ’till mornin’.”

~~~~~~~~~~

“Hey, Mighty Mouse. What I just tell you? Quit jumpin’ on the couch. You’re gonna crack your head open on that table.” Emmett looked over at his six-year-old son, Travis. He was dressed in the makeshift Halloween costume that Lucy hadn’t quite finished sewing together yet. Right then, it was just a pair of mouse ears covered in black felt, a crooked red cape, and an old yellow t-shirt that his wife had stitched with the letters MM in a bright, madras plaid. “You wanna spend Halloween gettin’ stitched up at the hospital?”

“Daddy, I ain’t gonna need no stitchin’ up. You’re just tryin’ to scare me some, but it ain’t gonna work ’cause I know better.”

Travis was a live wire. He kept picking through the big red candy bowl on the counter while Emmett turned a blind eye. Lucy had set the bowl out a day or two early, and he could see how it had been a mistake to let Travis’s little hands have free reign over all that chocolate. His small body hummed with a raging sugar buzz, and he flew around the house, jumping from chair to couch to coffee table, then down to their marred-up wooden floors again, flipping his little red cape all the while.

“You’re gonna be real scared if I have to come over there and get you down.” Emmett stood, feigning a stern look, leaning in the archway between the front room and their small kitchen. He gave his little boy a narrow-eyed smirk, and Travis narrowed his big eyes right back. Over the past year, he had grown sassier, his head full of cuss words and teenage slang, thanks to Wesley and Coralee.

Sometimes, Emmett felt a deeper kind of love for Travis. It was different than the one he had for his two older children. When his eyes rested on Travis’s thick tangle of red-brown hair, the same unique shade as his own, an ache went all through his heart. Emmett often looked at his son’s wiry little frame, his pigeon chest and jutting ribs, and couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of shame that they had even thought on ending Lucy’s pregnancy six years back.

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