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The Talon House

Staking My Claim


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Staking My Claim

Chapter Sixteen

by Nick

"Are you sure that's the one you want dude?" Jarred asked, raising an eyebrow at me. I should have realized my mistake, not just by the way Jarred was looking at me, but by the way everyone standing in the line in front of us and behind us was looking at me as well. But before I could reconcile the looks I was getting with the choice I had actually made, it was too late.

"Gross," I heard Kyle K say from behind me at the exact moment that the attendant dropped her ladle in the pot of hot caramel, brought it back out overflowing with the gooey concoction, and poured it over the top of my funnel cake, effectively ruining it.

"I pointed to the strawberries," I told the lady in protest, but she just cut her eyes at me.

"No, you pointed to the caramel," she countered.

"Well I don't want that," I said.

"You've already paid for it," she snapped. "If you want something different, you'll have to get back in line and pay for another."

"Excuse me?" Renee said, sounding appalled as she pushed her way in front of me. "He asked for strawberry."

"No he didn't," the fiery red head holding the ladle snapped, but before she could get another word in, Renee cut her off.

"Get your manager!" she said tersely. In reply, the lady rolled her eyes, grabbed my ruined funnel cake and walked off.

"What a b****," Phillip said. Just then, the redhead returned with a petite brunette who struck me as familiar for some reason.

"What's going on out here Renee?" she asked with a sideways glance, and that was when I was able to put two and two together.

"Andrew asked for strawberry and she gave him caramel, mom," Renee said with a hint of vindictiveness in her voice that seemed just a little bit cruel to me, especially when the redhead's eyes widened. I turned and looked around at the other customers in the shop, feeling a little guilty because all of this lady's trouble was on the count of my mistake, but also a little glad that the rude attendant was put in her place.

"Anita, go ahead and get the next order," Mrs. Tisdale instructed the lady in a courteous tone, then she proceeded to get me a new funnel cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on the top.

"Thank you ma'am," I said quietly as she handed me my tray with a smile.

"It's no trouble, sweetie," she said warmly, then she took care of the rest of the group. As she was getting everyone's orders together, Renee kept ranting to her mother about Anita's customer service.

"We should get refunds for the way we were treated," she said, and her mother cut her a disbelieving look.

"Why didn't you just tell her who you were?" Mrs. Tisdale asked incredulously. "There was no reason for you to pay in the first place."

With that, she went into the register and dug out the moneys we parted with when we were originally rung up by poor Anita, who I was beginning to think was set up by Renee to mess up.

I'd seen the Tisdale's funnel cake shop before from the road as we drove past it, but I had no idea it was theirs. Even so, it wouldn't have meant much to me that it belonged to Renee's mom and dad up until a month or so before going in that day, but now that I knew, I had a feeling I'd be going by there much more often. It was a quaint little place with about ten tables and a soda fountain in the dining area for refills. What I loved most about it was the clean smell that hit my nose as soon as we walked through the door and the brightly lit dining area.

As we sat there eating and talking amongst ourselves about our plans for the evening, a line of people strolled in and out. When things started to die down, Mrs. Tisdale came over to our table, sliding a chair out from an adjacent table to join us with a Sprite Zero in her grasp.

"Renee, I want you to go talk to Anita,' she said pointedly. "She feels terrible about what happened."

"Mom, she was rude to us," Renee countered, but with one sharp cut of Mrs. Tisdale's eyes, Renee was up and on her way to the now quiet counter. We all watched as she cautiously approached the redhead with a warm smile and the two of them spoke. After about two uneasy minutes, Anita accompanied Renee back to the table and addressed me.

"Honey, I'm sorry if I was impatient with you," she started. "I think we just had a misunderstanding. I thought you pointed to the caramel."

"So did I," Jarred blurted out, and I heard someone kick him under the table. All I could do at that point was clear my throat and admit that I might have been mistaken.

"I might have," I conceded. "I thought I was pointing to the strawberries, though. I'm sorry for messing you up."

"Well misunderstandings happen," Mrs. Tisdale said, directing her disapproving glare at both Anita and Renee. "I'm sure it won't happen again."

"No ma'am," Anita said with a smile, then she turned and walked away. I couldn't help but feel a little bad for her, especially when the fact was, I probably did point to the caramel like Jarred said. She was an older lady, probably in her forties, and most likely needed the job. Otherwise, why would she be working in a funnel cake shop doing something that I later learned Renee usually did for free? Mrs. Tisdale seemed to have a big heart, so it made sense to me that the reason Renee wasn't working there anymore was because she hired Anita.

Thinking about Anita's plight got me a little down. My guess was that Kyle K picked up on it, though, because he reached under the table where no one could see and grabbed my hand, giving it a tight squeeze that made me smile. As soon as the smile crept over me, he gave me one more reassuring squeeze, then he let go and brought his hand up onto the tabletop so he could attack his funnel cake with both hands.


"York County?" my mom asked, and I nodded insistently, preparing to defend Kyle Porter's driving. Of course, this drew incredulous stares from Phillip and Renee, who were standing next to me as I tried to get permission from my mom to go to the Peninsula over the phone.

"We'll be back on the South Side by nine," I promised, and I could hear her sigh in resignation.

"Call me when you're back on this side of the water," she said.

"I promise, mom," I chirped.

"Okay, I love you sweetie," she said. "Do you have enough money?"

"Yeah I do," I said. "I love you too."

With that, I put my phone back in my pocket and smiled. We went back inside the house, where the sounds of Jarred and both Kyle's coughing and choking on harsh hits were prevalent. That was what sent the three of us to the back yard in the first place. I figured that my chances of getting permission to go on a thirty-mile trek would be a lot better if my mom didn't hear people hitting a joint in the background.

We rolled a few joints for the drive over, then we were off. We stopped off at Jarred's lucky 7-11 on the way out, and I exchanged a glance with Phillip because I realized that this was the place we'd first met. I gave him a grin, which he responded to in kind, then he batted his eyes at me and looked away as we piled out of the car and into the store for what we needed.

The only thing I grabbed was a Coke and some M&M's, which seemed to be right up Phillip's alley, because he had the exact same thing. We made it to the register at the same time, while everyone else was still picking out what they wanted, and I was a little taken back when Phillip gave me a loving look and told the cashier to ring our stuff up together. We walked outside together to the car, and I could tell that he wanted to hold my hand. At that moment, I felt the same way but knew it would be a risky plan, so I held off. We did manage to get some conversation in, though.

"Do you want to go out tomorrow night?" he asked softly.

"You mean just the two of us?" I replied.

"Yeah," he said. "I want to take you out to dinner."

"On a date?" I asked, and he nodded with a warm smile that made my heart race.

"Okay," I agreed shyly, a little embarrassed for some reason. "I've never been on a date before."

"We'll have fun," he assured me, and I knew he was telling me the truth. I'd never not had a good time with Phillip when it was just the two of us, and I found myself looking forward to our date more and more as the moments passed.

The drive to York County, which is more commonly called Yorktown, took us a little longer than usual because of heavy traffic at the bridge tunnel. It wasn't stopped, but it was slow. Once we came out of it, though, we picked up speed and before I knew it, we were heading northbound on Route 17. We stopped at a Farm Fresh grocery store so we could all pee, then we were off again. We stopped right at the bank of the York River, found a place to park, and then got out.

One of the most majestic sights of the York River is the Coleman Bridge, which leads people to and from Gloucester County. It's not the biggest or highest bridge in our region, but its beauty is still awe-inspiring. We spread a blanket out in the sand and sat down, and I found myself mesmerized by the cars going over the structure. The water was calm, but I knew the waves would pick up soon because we were essentially at the mouth of the river, where it opened up to the Chesapeake. It wouldn't be long before a barge would come through, either on its way inland, or on its way back out to sea for a voyage to a far away land.

As time passed, Kyle and Renee got up and went for a walk, looking for some privacy. I suspected they were looking for a place to make out, too, but didn't want to speculate out loud. Jarred was off by himself, exploring the beach and encroaching on the other beach goers by trekking past their blankets on his way to see how far it was to the Coast Guard Station, which was visible from where we were sitting but not by much.

Kyle K, Phillip and I were sitting alone on the blanket, making idle chatter when my phone started to vibrate. I went to answer when it stopped, so I just shrugged it off and turned my attention back to Kyle and Phillip. In a flash, Phillip's phone was ringing, but not for long. Phillip gave a puzzled look as he took his phone out of his pocket to look at his screen when Kyle's phone went off briefly.

"That retarded a** Jarred," Kyle said with a chuckle, shaking his head.

"He doesn't have anything better to do than drive us all crazy, does he?" I said as Phillip called him back.

"Hey moron, we know it's you," he said as soon as Jarred answered. "Where are you?"

With that, Phillip closed his eyes and laughed to himself, holding his fingertips to his forehead and shaking his head. "Alright, we'll meet you as soon as Porter makes it back."

"What did he break?" Kyle asked sarcastically, eliciting a chuckle from Phillip and I.

"We're going to have to go keep an eye on him before he gets himself arrested for something," Phillip joked. "He's getting too close to the base."

As the shadows of the evening began to creep over the edge of the river, we packed up and headed for home. As promised, I called when we made it back to the South Side to let my mom and dad know I was back. As soon as I got off the phone, there was a burning joint being passed my way, so at the urging of everyone else, I took about a fourth of it to the head before I passed it off to Jarred, who was sitting in the front seat with Renee and Kyle P. When I exhaled, I blew everything that came out of my lungs into Phillip's and Kyle K's faces, then I rested my head back and listened to the sounds of some old school Jimmy Eat's World that was blaring out of the speakers behind me.

I figured that Kyle P and Renee were planning to ditch us at some point so they could go somewhere and f**k, so it was no surprise when we all wound up at Kyle K's. What did shock me, though, was how Jarred announced that he was ready to leave at ten o'clock, and that he was trying to get Phillip to leave with him. I sensed a little tension between them when Phillip said he wasn't ready to go yet, but I got really uncomfortable when the two of them went by themselves into the kitchen. There was no telling what they were saying, but I was sure it wasn't anything pleasant. I figured that Jarred was horny and wanted to have sex, but Phillip wasn't having it.

Kyle and I were sitting by ourselves in front of the TV when I thought I heard the back door open and close. Kyle must have heard it too, because he gave me a sideways look and got up. I followed him to the door to see what was happening.

When he opened the door, we both got the shock of a lifetime. Jarred had Phillip by the wrist and it looked like he was twisting it and advancing on him in a threatening manner. Phillip looked scared, but when he saw us, his fear turned to humiliation. When Jarred met my eyes, I felt like I was looking at a total stranger.

Jarred let go and looked down, almost as if he were ashamed of himself, then he turned our way and slowly walked back up the steps. Kyle and I stepped out of his way, and I watched in shock as he picked his backpack up from the floor and walked to the front door. He let himself out, and he was gone.


"What's going on between you two?" I asked my boyfriend as we slowly rode our bikes through the neighborhood both he and Jarred lived in. I knew part of it, but I'd never seen Jarred be physical before and I was honestly shaken up.

"We just had an argument over something," he said elusively. "He'll live, and we'll make up."

"After he treated you that way?" I asked incredulously. "I don't think I want to be his friend anymore, Phillip. How can he put his hands on anyone he calls a friend?"

"Andrew, we're more like brothers," he said, defending Jarred's despicable actions, something I couldn't understand.

"That doesn't make it right," I countered.

"Well, brothers fight," he said, sounding more like he was trying to convince himself than anything. "We've fought before."

"Phillip I'm scared," I admitted. "I don't want him treating you that way. What if he tries that on me?"

"Then I'll protect you," he said bravely. "I'll let him kill me before I let him lay a hand on you. That goes for anyone, my love."

"Do you have to go home?" I asked, and he shook his head. "Can you spend the night tonight?"

"Let me call my dad and ask," he said, pulling his phone out and smiling at me as we continued our slow ride through the neighborhood. After a lengthy conversation during which Phillip convinced his dad that he had a clean change of clothes at my place, he got permission and we rode home.

When we got there, I let my folks know we were home, then I changed into something lighter and kicked my shoes off in favor of sandals. Once I was comfortable, I snuck two beers out of the fridge and Phillip and I walked down to the beach.

The moon was lighting the water, and the reflection was making the sand appear to be silver . We settled into a dry area and I leaned into Phillip, who wrapped his arms around me protectively and held me close.

"I don't want you to think I can't defend myself," he said quietly. "I'm just so used to the way Jarred is that I let him treat me badly out of habit."

"He has no right to twist your arm," I said. "Remember how mad you were with my dad?"

"Yeah," he said forlornly, repositioning himself so that he was behind me and I was resting back against him, my whole body between his legs, which were flat on the beach. He locked his hands at the front and gave me a tight squeeze, then he kissed the top of my head.

"Has he done that before?" I asked, and I felt him nodding. "When I see him I'm going to tell him off, Phillip. He has no right. I think Kyle was pretty weirded out by it too."

"Yeah, that wasn't the smartest thing to do in front of you and Kyle," he agreed solemnly. "But I don't think it's a good idea to say anything to him about it. He'll just feel worse than he already does."

"What about the way he made you feel?" I countered, but he brought his finger up to my lips and shushed me.

"Let's not talk about it anymore," he said quietly. "Let's talk about us instead. We're still on for tomorrow night, aren't we?"

"Yes," I said with a slow nod. "I'm going to wear my bracelet too."

With that, I closed my eyes and settled back into his chest, listening to the rhythm of his beating heart and thinking about how happy he'd be if he left Jarred. The thing was, I knew I didn't have to convince him of that anymore. Jarred did that all by himself. Now it was just up to me to make sure I was there for him when he finally made his move.

"Are you ready to go inside?" I asked him seductively, thinking of all the things I wanted to do with him I my room. Without a word, he stood up, then he helped me to my feet and held my hand as we strolled slowly back to my yard. About half way there, I stopped, propped myself up on the tips of my toes, and planted a kiss on his lips.

When we got back to my place, the TV was off in the living room, telling me that my mom and dad were already in bed. I let us in, then I led my boyfriend up the stairs to my room, where we resumed the kiss we shared outside. The taste of his tongue as it dominated mine was intoxicating, and in no time at all, I was stripping my clothes off as fast as I could. When I was down to nothing at all, I slid into my bed and waited patiently for Phillip to finish undressing and get in.

The sight of his c***, which was stiff as a board, got me even hornier than I was before. As he climbed in my bed with me, I eagerly rolled over and took it in my mouth, desperate to have it in any entrance I could get it in. As I sucked him off, I bobbed my head up and down as the tingling sensation of his shaft running back and forth between my lips made my head spin and my love tunnel start to moisten in anticipation of the main event.

It seemed like almost no time at all before I was sitting up to swallow my boyfriend's hot load. He sat up with me and met my lips with his, taking me in his arms and guiding me down onto my back. In familiar fashion, he pleasured me with his tongue first, making me moan so loud that I was worried my mom and dad might hear me. Still, it was no use fighting the feeling I got as his stiff tongue swirled around in my a**, which was horny for a long lay.

A few minutes later, he lined up and pushed in, then he gave me what I needed. I didn't watch the clock, so I have no idea how long he lasted, but what I do know is that he took his time and was sure to shower me with kisses and "I love you's" the whole time. His thrusts were powerful, and he aimed them with precision at my spot. He gave me multiple orgasms that were powerful on their own, but when we came together at the end, I swore to God that I had never felt anything so overwhelming in my life.

I didn't want him to leave me, so I told him to stay just the way we were, with my legs over his shoulders and his c*** deep inside of me. Eventually, common sense won out and we changed positions. He spooned up to my backside and re-entered me, then he softly petted me with his gentle fingertips and his soft lips until I fell asleep.


The last thing I expected from Phillip was a cab ride across town, but I should have known to always expect the unexpected from him. When I mentioned that I was in the mood to eat at Mi Casa earlier in the day, I thought he'd brushed it off as a casual comment. I mean, neither of us drove, and it was a long bike ride down Virginia Beach Boulevard, all the way to Rosemont Avenue. In other words, it was too far to go in the heat with my nice clothes on.

So as I was getting ready in the mirror, trying to look my best while Phillip sat on my bed already looking his best, I didn't pay him any mind as he called ahead for what I thought were reservations someplace nearby.

"How do I look?" I asked, turning to face him after working on my hair for the better part of twenty minutes.

"Gorgeous as always," he said with a smile, taking me by the right hand and lifting it so that my bracelet dangled loosely from my wrist. The smile on his face told me he wasn't lying, and when he leaned in and put a peck on my cheek, I blushed. "Our cab should be here any minute."

"Our cab?" I asked, and he nodded.

"How else are we going to get to Mi Casa?" he said, bringing my right hand to his lips. "You still want that, don't you?"

"Yeah," I said quietly, a little modest about all of the attention he was raining on me at the moment. With that, the two of us walked downstairs hand in hand, where my mom and dad were getting ready to leave themselves. Phillip blushed when they spotted us, but I tightened my grip on his hand and smiled at them.

"You guys look so handsome," my mom gushed, returning my smile.

"Thanks," Phillip answered bashfully.

"Where are you two off to tonight?" my dad asked, pulling his wallet out and opening it up, exposing a knot of bills that I knew he always carried with him.

"Mi Casa, then a movie" I boasted, looking dreamily at Phillip as I did. "Phillip called a cab."

"Give him some money, Sam," my mom instructed, looking at my dad but motioning toward me with her head. "You two have fun and be safe."

"We will," I promised, accepting sixty dollars from my dad. I let go of Phillip's hand momentarily, just long enough to get my wallet out and tuck the cash away.

Mi Casa is a small Mexican restaurant that stays busy, but they always serve good food. The chips and salsa are delicious and never stop coming while you wait for your order to come out, and when your order does make it to the table, the food is good enough to make you forget how much you enjoyed the chips and salsa.

We both ordered Carnitas, which is basically pieces of tender pork fried to a golden crisp on the outside and smothered in Pepper Jack cheese. They come with a side of flour tortillas, Spanish rice and refried beans. When we ordered, Phillip impressed me by giving the order in Spanish, which I had no idea he knew so well. I'd taken Spanish in middle school, but it became obvious to me that Phillip was either still taking it in High School, or he was exposed to it somewhere else.

We had a rather private booth, and I think our server knew we were a couple, but she never gave us funny looks, even when she brought us refills on our sodas and we were holding hands across the table and giggling. We straightened up when she popped in on us to ask if we needed a refill, but she acted as if it were nothing she hadn't seen before and took our glasses away. When we were alone again with our full glasses, Phillip smiled across the table at me and took my hand again, using the tip of his thumb to rub the palm of my hand in a circular motion as I gazed back at him, mesmerized his romantic gesture.

It was nine o'clock when our check came, and I wanted to pay for at least my half, but Phillip wouldn't let me. When we walked out, we crossed Rosemont and wound up at, of all places, an Eckerd Drug Store. While we were out front, he called another cab, then we went inside the air conditioned store. Phillip grabbed a blue tin of Ice Breakers Mints, then asked me if I wanted anything. I just shrugged and shook my head, so we headed up to the counter.

As we were being rung up, Phillip turned his attention to a display with individual long stemmed roses wrapped in plastic. He gave me a tender look, then he grabbed one and had the cashier ring it up with the mints. As we walked out, he turned and handed it to me with the sweetest smile on his face I think I'd ever seen up to that point.

"Let's just skip the movie," I said with a smile as we leaned up against a concrete pillar. "I want to be alone with you."

"Are you sure?" he asked, and I nodded dreamily. Instead of a verbal reply, he leaned in with his lips puckered, and I eagerly reciprocated. It's funny, there was no tongue to speak of, but I still found myself swept away in the moment.

Knowing that my house was empty, we wound up in my living room on the couch. I had every intention of attacking his body, but he had other plans. I got as far as a kiss, then he stood up with my hand in his, and I expected him to lead me to my room. Instead, he wrapped his arms around me and did the last thing I would have thought of.

He serenaded me.

His voice flowed through my ears like fine wine, the words from Lately by Tyrese escaping his lips. As he sang, he guided me into a slow dance, and as we moved in sync with each other, I realized that on my first date, I was sharing my first real dance. As the reality of the words he was singing to me hit me, I could feel tears welling in my eyes because I felt like I could never love anyone like I loved the man whose arms I was in at that moment and that once again, Phillip was making all of my dreams come true.

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