Eddie sat down on the couch next to Tamera and put one arm around her so that she was close to him, and he let his hand drop down so that it brushed against her breast casually—almost accidentally. “Hey, baby,” he crooned, “I really dig you, you know?” He felt Tamera jump slightly as she heard him, and he squeezed her tighter, pressing his dangling hand once more against her palpitating breast.
Tamera shivered in his embrace, and the alcohol seemed to diffuse through her system. She pressed her thighs tightly together to control a peculiar tickle which was worming its way through the soft sensitive flesh down between her thighs.
Eddie pressed his attack, feeling the tiny, bud-like nipple of her breast harden under the thinness of her brassiere. Tamera knew she was going to have to stop him soon before things got out of control; she squirmed, moving his fingers away without him noticing it, and her short skirt hiked up over her hips, exposing her thighs and the white crotch-band of her panties. She blushed furiously and tried to pull her skirt down again.
Eddie laughed. “Leave it alone, baby, you’ve got nice legs. Don’t hide what’s there, because you got nothing there I don’t know about!”
That brought a shriek of laughter from Nancy and more livid redness from Tamera. The young girl felt hot, but not wanting to let Eddie and the others think she was square, she didn’t move her skirt, but quickly took an extra heavy swallow of her drink. Eddie leaned across, brushing against her body tauntingly, and refilled her glass from the pitcher on the coffee table in front of them.
“Film’s threaded and ready to roll, C.B.,” Jason said, sitting down beside Nancy on the other couch and picking up his glass. “Camera, action!” And he took a thirsty swallow of the waiting drink.
“In a momento,” Eddie said. He slid his hand from around Tamera and stood up, walking over to the bar again and reaching underneath, to a shelf along one side. “Before we begin the festival, let’s make it a little better for all of us.”
He brought up a tin that English cigarettes are often packed in, and brought it around to the others. “Here, each take one,” he offered, opening the tin. Inside were hand-rolled cigarettes of a peculiar brownish texture. Tamera had a sinking suspicion what the odd cigarettes were.
“Light up,” Eddie went on to say, and pushed the tin in front of Tamera. “Go on, baby, take one,” he urged.
Tamera’s mind was wrought with indecision. She’d heard too many stories and lectures from adults, but she was just as afraid of looking like she was a kid. She glanced at Nancy for support and guidance, and was shocked to see that her girlfriend was already lighting one up, eyes shut, completely oblivious to Tamera’s plight.
“What’s the matter,” Eddie growled, “aren’t you game?”
“I… I never smoked one before,” Tamera blurted. She instantly wished she hadn’t admitted that, for now she really sounded uncool. She wished she hadn’t drunk all that concoction he’d made, for she wasn’t thinking clearly and felt awfully warm, and there was a weight pressing down on her forehead and eyes.
“A little grass never hurt nobody,” Jason scoffed.
“Yeah, don’t worry about a thing,” Nancy said, exhaling.
Don’t worry… She’d said the same thing to her mother only hours earlier, and here she was! Worried!
“Aw, I knew she was a baby all along,” Jason sneered. “Take her home, Eddie, so we can watch the film in enjoyment.” Tamera blanched under the direct punch of his contempt, and rebellious resentment welled up inside her, forcing her to take a cigarette and place it reluctantly between her lips. A child, was she! A baby!
“Let me light it for you,” Eddie said solicitously. “Once you’re high, you’ll feel things you never felt before.” He lit the cigarette, and trembling slightly, Tamera drew in her first drag. She coughed.
“Oh, for God’s sake,” Jason said disgustedly.
“Let her alone,” Nancy said. “She’ll learn. Remember how I was the first time? Tamera, hold the smoke down in your lungs. Try again, and take it slow.”
The second inhalation was easier, and the naive young girl held the sour-sweet smoke down until she thought she’d burst. She exhaled, looked around with a smile of triumph, only to see that the other three were obliviously smoking their own joints. She followed suit, and by the end of her cigarette, she began to float.
“How you feeling now, baby?” Eddie asked as he switched off the lights and flicked on the projector.
“Like I’m on the moon!” Tamera had never felt better in all her life; she was happy and carefree, without a worry in the world. She felt warm and close to everyone here, and she turned her blissful eyes to the screen.