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For a moment, Pacey lost all sensation in his body, then it came flooding back in a rush all at once, overloading every nerve ending he had. He could feel Joey's lips pressed hard against his. Then she tilted her head and slid her tongue inside his mouth and all the blood departed his brain for more southern parts. Her hands were still fisted against his chest and he slid his arms around her back to pull her closer. He cupped the back of her neck with one hand as he deepened the kiss, his tongue sliding over hers frantically. He wasn't sure how long they had been sitting there (minutes? hours? seconds?) before they heard a loud boom. They pulled away quickly, both breathing hard, and looking about nervously for the car or person that had made that noise.
Then Pacey looked up. "Fireworks," he said weakly, pointing at the sky. Joey looked up to see a shower of red and purple sparks bursting across the dark sky. She gazed at them, bewildered and disoriented. Then she looked back to Pacey who was staring at her, his gaze inscrutable. She had kissed him because she was angry, and she wanted to get the better of him, to prove to him that she wasn't a prude or frigid or an Ice Queen or any of those other oh-so-adorable nicknames he liked to call her. But somehow, when her lips had touched his, the kiss changed. It was passionate, and charged with energy and kind of frightening actually.
She had meant to break off the kiss after a moment or two, just enough time for him to want more, and say as calmly and coolly as possible, "Still think I'm a prude?" But now, it seemed her joke had backfired. She was the one who wanted more.
Refusing to meet his gaze, she scooted back safely to the other side of the truck and crossed her arms, mumbling as she felt her face burning with embarrassment, "I'm not a prude."
Pacey didn't respond. He was too busy thinking, "Joey's tongue was in my mouth."
He bent his legs pulling his knees up to his chest so she wouldn't see how aroused he had gotten. He was so confused. Guilt, awkwardness and desire swirled around in his mind. He looked over at Joey, who was hell-bent on getting as far away as possible from him-which wasn't too far in the narrow flatbed of the truck. She looked utterly miserable. He knew how she felt. Pacey let his head thump back against the window of the cab and they sat in silence, watching the fireworks.
"So what really happened the other night?" Jen rolled over onto her side propping her head up on her elbow and looking inquisitively at Joey.
Joey closed the book she was reading and looked over at Jen. So much for a peaceful day reading in the park, she thought. Of course, seeing as how she'd read the same page over about 20 times already, it was probably a lost cause anyhow.
"What are you talking about? I already told you the truck's fan belt snapped, we watched some fireworks and luckily a car came by and got us a lift back to town. We met up with you guys at the coffee house after."
"Oh, I know what you told me. But you're obviously leaving some crucial details out, because you and Pacey have been avoiding each other like the plague and neither one of you has said more than 10 words all day." She paused watching Joey squirm uncomfortably and flush a dull red. "And judging from the fact that you're about the color of ketchup right now, I would say something is definitely up." She smiled cheerfully. "And I'm gonna bug you till you tell me, so you might as well fess up right now and make it quick and painless."
Joey rolled her eyes and debated for a moment as to whether she should confide in her. "Okay, alright, yes, something happened. But you have to promise you're not going to make a big deal out of this and you can't breathe a word of it to Jack."
"Ooh, I like this sound of this already. I promise. Now, dish!"
Joey laughed in spite of herself. Sometimes Jen sounded a lot like Bessie. It was a definite change from her usual confidantes, Dawson and Jack. In the distance, she saw Jack nearly trip over a bench as he tried to catch the Frisbee Pacey had floated over to him.
She sighed. "So, after the truck broke down, we were both in horrible moods and we started fighting again. He said I didn't know how to loosen up and have fun, I said he was just oversexed, he called me frigid, I pretty much said he was an animal, he called me a prude and I kissed him." Joey rattled their exchange off so quickly that Jen didn't react at first.
Then her yes widened. "YOU kissed HIM?"
"I couldn't help it. He just made me so angry," she shrugged petulantly. "I wanted to prove to him that I wasn't a prude."
"And?" Jen wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
"And it was a huge mistake!" Joey sighed, running her hands through her hair. "I never should have done that." She frowned, pulling at the grass stubbornly. "It's all his fault. If he hadn't called me all those names, I wouldn't have flipped out and lost every last ounce of common sense I possess."
"Actually, Jo, I meant 'And how was the kiss?'"
Joey closed her eyes and dropped her head into her hands.
"That bad? Wow, I'm surprised because when I had to kiss Pacey for Dawson's movie, I thought-"
Joey lifted her head, her hands splayed over her face. She peeked through her fingers at Jen.
"It was incredible," she said in obvious misery.
Jen blinked in confusion. "And that's…a bad thing?"
"Are you kidding? It's terrible! I mean granted I have pretty limited experience here, but I've never felt anything like this kiss. It was… furious and passionate and …electric."
"Not even with Dawson?" Jen asked carefully. "I mean that day we had Saturday detention, that kiss seemed pretty passionate. Even Abby noticed it." Joey swallowed hard and slowly shook her head. It was rather awkward talking about kissing Dawson with Jen, but too late now.
"That was pretty amazing. And I never thought anything would top our first real kiss, when he thought I was going to go to France. But with Dawson, it was always about emotions and thinking. I mean even while he was kissing me I was pretty sure at least part of his brain was already analyzing and cataloguing for an inevitable discussion later." Jen nodded sympathetically, she could definitely relate.
"With Pacey it was different. It was more…instinctual, I guess …powerful. In fact, I don't think there was a coherent thought running through either of our brains. I mean the last time he kissed me-"
"Woah, rewind! Last time?" Jen sat up quickly. This conversation was getting better and better.
Joey blushed. "He sort of kissed me last year when we had to go on that snail hunting trip for biology. It was kind of random and I was all caught up in the whole Dawson drama. To be honest, he caught me by surprise and I was so shocked I just kind of pushed him away after like a few seconds, so I didn't feel much of anything then." She moaned pitifully. "God, what kind of cruel twist of fate is this, that my one truly orgasmic kiss in life be with him," she flopped dramatically back down on the blanket they were laying on.
Jen laughed, "So what are you going to do about it?"
"The most passionate kiss you ever had and you're going to do nothing?"
"What can I do? He's with Andie. And even if he wasn't, I'm not sure I'd want to start anything anyway. I mean first of all we've got that whole weird love-hate dynamic going on and second, we've really started to get a lot closer this summer and he's a good friend. I can't keep going around dating them, I'm running out!"
"You better watch out, Jo. Dawson, Jack, now Pacey, you're gonna put my rep to shame soon." Jen said with a twisted smile.
Joey looked at the blonde girl and smiled sort of shyly. "Thanks for listening to me, Jen. I know we haven't had the greatest relationship and it's mostly been my fault." Jen started to interrupt, saying she was equally to blame but Joey stopped her. "No, let me finish. I'm not very good at apologizing, too stubborn I guess, but I need to do this. You've been really great to me this past month and well I just wanted to say, I'm glad we're becoming better friends and I'm sorry. I really misjudged you."
Jen beamed, "Apology accepted. And I know that even if I didn't when I first came to Capeside, this past year, I've given you plenty of cause to hate me. You know, Joey, I'm actually kind of glad Dawson's gone this summer."
Joey sighed. "Me too."
Jen laid back down and Joey reached for her book again, as a companionable silence settled. A few moments later, it was broken by Jen.
"Orgasmic, huh?" Joey grinned.
"Let's just say that not all the fireworks I saw on the Fourth were in the sky." With that, they broke into infectious giggles.
Pacey jogged over to his friend, calling a halt to the Frisbee game as he yanked his t-shirt over his head. It had to be at least a 100 degrees out.
"So, Jack, when was the last time you talked to Andie?"
"Um, she called me about a week ago, I guess."
"Did she uh, happen to mention me at all?"
"Actually no, but we didn't talk that long. She's pretty busy with everything there, going to see her therapist and catching up with all her old friends. I'm sure you'll hear from her soon."
"Yeah," Pacey said, unconvincingly thinking of the countless messages he'd left her and the long weekly letters, all of which had gone unreturned. As they walked back towards the blanket, he yawned. Between all the thinking he'd been doing about Andie and Joey, he hadn't gotten much sleep the past couple of days. He couldn't get that damn kiss out of his head. Truth was, he was feeling some major guilt. Joey may have initiated the kiss, but he hadn't exactly shoved her away either, as he should have. What the hell was wrong with him? Your girlfriend's not out of town for two months and you can't control your hormones enough not to kiss another girl? his conscience sneered at him. He wasn't fickle or the kind of guy who would cheat. No matter what other people thought about him, that was one thing he was sure of. Pacey had always prided himself on his loyalty, and he couldn't help but think that was part of the problem. A kiss from just some random girl would have been easy to turn away from, but it hadn't been some random girl. It was Joey. The same Joey who'd always been able to get a reaction out of him, though never quite like this. It was ironic really. A year ago he would have been thrilled, hell downright ecstatic, if Josephine Potter had kissed him like that. Now he just felt guilty as hell. Well, guilty and aroused. Pacey forced that thought right out of his mind. He wouldn't let himself think about the fact that he had never felt more desire and utter longing for someone in his entire life as he had when Joey was kissing him. He couldn't afford to let some passing attraction ruin the best thing that had ever happened to him in his life. Without Andie, he was nothing. Now he just had to make sure Joey agreed.
Jen and Joey were still laughing when the guys walked up to the blanket. "Hey what's so funny?" Jack asked, but the girls simply exchanged a meaningful look and told him it was nothing, giggling all the while.
Pacey reached into the cooler near Jen's head and grabbed a soda. With a wicked grin, Jen leaned over and whispered to Joey, "I don't suppose you noticed the long fingers."
Joey gave her a look that made it perfectly clear she'd entertained that thought already, sending them into further gales of uncontrollable laughter.
Jack rolled his eyes. Gay or not, he didn't have any better understanding of women than any other male. Pacey shifted nervously, in front of them.
"Uh, Joey can I talk to you for a minute?" Joey squinted up at him, trying not to notice the well-defined biceps and pecs that his lack of a shirt showed off nicely.
"Okay," she said reluctantly. She stood up and Pacey walked off a little ways till they were out of earshot leaving her to follow.
"Look, Joey, about what happened-"
"Just forget about it, Pacey," she said, keeping her eyes fixed on the ground. "It was a mistake and it never should have happened. All those insults just made me snap."
"Yeah, but don't you think we should talk about-"
"No!" she said more vehemently than she had meant to. "I don't want to talk about it. I'm sick of talking about things. I just want to forget it happened."
Pacey couldn't believe how easily she was dismissing this. That kiss had been scorching and she was acting like it was a peck on the cheek from some long-lost aunt at Christmastime. In the back of his mind, he knew he was being completely irrational to get mad at this and it was probably just a bruised ego feeling like he was being rejected by Joey yet again that was making him react this way. This was what he had wanted, for them to just forget it and go back to normal. Wasn't it?
"Forget it? How can you forget it? That kiss was-"
"Don't, Pacey," she dragged her eyes up to his face, warningly and by the look in her eyes, he could tell that Joey Potter was afraid. Maybe she didn't want to talk about the kiss, not because it didn't matter to her, but because it mattered more than she had wanted it to. "Just don't go there, okay?" she mumbled miserably. For some reason this pacified him and made him remember why he wanted to have this little chat in the first place.
"So, we're cool then right? I mean I'd really hate to ruin this new fangs-retracted friendship thing we're trying here. Besides, you know I'm with Andie and …"
"Don't worry Pace," Joey smirked, cutting off his rambling. "My father's not gonna get out the shotgun and drag you down the aisle. We're fine.
" He smiled at her. "Well, good, because I don't know what I'd do without you Joey."
She stopped in her tracks and stared at him in shock. Pacey could barely suppress a grin, as he said, "Yeah I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have you here to nag me, call me a cretin and deflate my ego with all those other charming and unsolicited criticisms you throw around daily. Well, except maybe have some peace and quiet for the first time in 16 years."
His last few words were yelped as she socked his shoulder playfully. Relieved, he threw his arm around her shoulders and Joey began explaining the merits of extra-strength anti-perspirant to him as they ambled back to the blanket.
Jack looked up and grinned as they approached. "So I see you two have kissed and made up?"
Two jaws dropped as Pacey and Joey stared at him in horror, and Pacey quickly removed his arm.
Seeing their shock, Jen swiftly jumped in to cover. "Jack was just wondering what you guys were talking about so I told him you were probably just apologizing after the argument you had the other night." She stared hard at them, mentally telegraphing that they should agree with her.
"Oh, Yeah, uh huh. We're square, right, Jo?" Square? Sure, if I could stop thinking about how she felt in my arms every five minutes.
"Yup, absolutely. Perfectly fine." Fine? Yeah, if I could stop remembering every five minutes that the most incredible kiss I've ever had was with him. They sat down on opposite corners of the blanket, lost in thought. As Jen looked at two very long faces, she couldn't help but feel that this summer was going to get a hell of a lot more interesting before it was over.
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