Jess and Leslie – Sugar Baby Love
Chapter 5: The Sign of a Special Relationship

Original story by: Freestyler75
Translated by: G-Matt

Disclaimer: Neither Freestyler75 or I own Bridge to Terabithia

As it was getting dark, it had started to rain and the patter carried faintly into the Burkes' large, spacious living room. A cozy fire was sparkling in the fireplace and a few candles had been lit in the living room. Jesse and Leslie had just made big portions of chocolate ice cream for themselves, and there was quite a job in eating them. Now and then Leslie pointed out to Jesse how the tip of his nose was covered in chocolate.

Of course the Burkes didn't have a television but they did have high-quality hi-fi equipment and quite a line of CDs in the living room. There were even lots of old LPs. Jesse examined the family's record collection while eating. "I see your parents like a bit older music", Jesse noticed while browsing through the titles. "There are only a few newer records."

"That's true", Leslie answered from the couch. "And now lately they've started to learn those old dances too. Sometimes a couple they know comes to visit us and they crank those twist songs and whatever else here on the "dance floor" for hours. It looks pretty embarrassing, by the way. I guess they're living their second youth or something like that. Or well, the twist was probably popular long before my parents' youth.

"Put something on", Leslie continued. "On the top there should be a pretty good collection CD burned by my Dad."

Jesse put the disc in the player and looked at the track list. "The performer of the first song is a…The Rubettes."

"Oh yes, this is awesome!" Leslie got excited and began to sing along the song. "Sugar baby love, sugar baby love, I didn't mean to make you blue… Such a wonderfully happy and carefree song!" Leslie started to dance with her dog to the beat of the song by holding his front paws.

The sight amused Jesse and he also got into the catchy song. "Hey Les, is that really a man who sings with the high voice in the background? By what means is he able to produce such a shrill voice?"

"Heh, yeah, it truly is a man", Leslie answered while still dragging along P.T. that seemed to be totally confused from his mistress' actions. "He sings falsetto. Those old songs have quite a lot of that. Hey, now comes this supposedly instructive speech part."

Leslie repeated along the song while lowering her voice: "People – take my advice – if you love someone – don't think twice."

Jesse laughed. "I see you've also been listening to these songs since you know these lines by heart."

"Well, you can't avoid it too much since they're playing so often in here. And now, somehow, I've become a bit interested in them myself. Just leave that CD playing. Dad has put a lot of good songs in it."

Leslie let her dog go and P.T. dashed quickly into another room. Apparently he hadn't really cared about Leslie's dancing play. Then Jesse went to sit back on the couch with Leslie. At the same time Leslie noticed that Jesse felt a bit sore in his back while sitting down.

"Did you get yourself hurt today after all? Well, no wonder after that 'flight'. Or what's wrong with your back?"

"I don't think so, I don't think it's because of that. I think it got sore while I was cleaning my Dad's shed. The shelves are in such a terribly inconvenient place that my back and shoulders don't like that position at all. Especially when I often have to do it for two-three hours in a row, I'm so sore all over afterwards. Such a slave duty", Jesse panted.

"Hmm…I see… Sit down on the floor", Leslie pointed her finger at her feet. "Here I give my parents a massage every time when their shoulders are sore from all the continuous sitting in front of the computer terminal. And sometimes they massage me too. It's very relaxing and it makes your blood circulate."

Jesse liked the sound of her idea and sat down on the floor. Leslie's thin, supple fingers started to go through his sore shoulders and neck. "These really do feel quite stiff", Leslie estimated like an actual experienced masseuse. "Does this hurt?"

"No…or maybe a little but go on, it feels good", Jesse enjoyed.

After massaging Jesse's shoulders for a while, Leslie continued her treatment: "Okay, now you can lie down on the floor on your stomach."

Jesse wondered what would happen next but, however, he lay down on the floor. Leslie went down on her knees next to him and first started to pound her friend's back with her arms. Then she carefully moved on her knees on Jesse's upper back and carefully moved her legs on it. "Ow, are you gonna mangle me to death?!" Jesse howled.

"Heh, no, I'm not. I do this to my Dad every now and then… But, then of course he's quite a lot bigger than you so my weight might be a bit too much for you." Then Leslie stood up and helped Jesse get up.

"Thanks, that made me feel a lot better", Jesse said, feeling relieved. "You would be a great masseuse."

Then he looked at the clock. "Oh gosh, it's pretty late already. They're probably starting to wonder soon at home why I've been here so long. I guess I must be going so I won't get into trouble", Jesse stated in a bit low spirits.

"W-Wait Jess!" Leslie eased. "There's still one more important exercise move to be done!"

"Oh. What's that?"

"Well, uh…I mean that…the shoulders need to be massaged from the front too", Leslie messed with her words and moved quickly to stand face to face near Jesse.

"Hmm…from the front? How?" There was skeptical surprise in Jesse's voice as Leslie put her hands on his shoulders.

"Like this."

First Leslie massaged Jesse's shoulders a bit but then started to move her hands carefully on his neck and finally behind his neck while moving closer to him. At that moment Jesse Aarons started to realize that now Leslie had something totally else on her mind than massage. Help me.

"Jess…" Leslie started seriously and somehow a bit breathlessly. Jesse noticed that Leslie was a little nervous and he froze to the spot like a statue. Oh, no, I can't do this, I can't…

"…I wanted to do something when…"

Jesse swallowed and felt how his legs were starting to shake slightly.

"…you rose from the creek…"

And now the armpits are getting sweaty… Mommy, help!

"…but I didn't have time", Leslie almost whispered and was already a couple of centimeters away from Jesse's face.

It was now clear to Jesse what was going to happen. His suddenly so friendly best friend came closer and closer, millimeter by millimeter… First she touched Jesse's nose with the tip of hers and quietly brushed it a few times…until, after what had seemed like an endlessly long wait, she let her lips lightly touch Jesse's lips.

Mmm…chocolate ice cream.

There was nothing for dumbfounded Jesse to do but stand stiff and feel Leslie's soft "chocolate lips" press against his own and feel their shape. To his amazement he noticed how a weird built-in mechanism activated and made him wrap his arms firmly around Leslie's slim body. At the same time he felt the fiery pounding coming from her chest – or was it in his chest?

About ten seconds passed – which seemed like an hour to both of them – until their lips and faces slowly separated. Then the CD player started to play Blue Eyes by Elton John.

Blue eyes, baby's got blue eyes, like a deep blue sea, on a blue blue day…

They were facing each other again. Leslie, with a serious look on her face and without spoiling the moment, looked deep into Jesse's eyes, and he danced with her as if in a trance. When Leslie noticed Jesse's halted look, which had now changed to admiringly calm, a new kind of smile formed on her face. Then she pressed her cheek against Jesse's and started to give him a tight hug. This probably wasn't considered the last slow dance of the night, because the first dance hadn't been danced – but that's what it felt like, after all.

Blue eyes, baby's got blue eyes, like a clear blue sky, watching over me…

After the song ended, Jesse and Leslie stayed perfectly still for a moment. Leslie had tears in her eyes and she was glad that Jesse didn't see her face right now. As for Jesse, he smiled contentedly by himself in her warm embrace and couldn't believe what had just happened and what was happening. Of course he had expected that sometime something like this might happen, at some point in the distant future… After a few years… But now already… Oh, God, where he would still get into with this girl…

At that moment the front door opened. At lightning speed, in a split second, both Jesse and Leslie let go of each other and flashed quickly to sit on the couch as if they had sat there for even longer. Two seconds later Bill Burke stepped to the living room door. His wife Judy followed behind him.

"Hi kids! How has the evening been?" Bill asked.

"Er… It's been nice, Dad", Leslie cleared her throat and tried to find her normal voice. The couch was facing backwards at Leslie's parents, so they didn't see the kids' faces.

Bill sensed something unusual in the situation. "Oh. Well, why is it so dark in here? And the candles are burning?" he asked while he entered the room. "What have you been up to?"

"Just listening to music", Leslie answered and fingered the couch's joint part nervously.

Bill stepped further into the room. "I see. Well, what music?" he asked and reached down to look at the CD player's display. Blue Eyes.

"Hmmm…" Bill observed the two strangely quiet figures sitting in the dark and was just about to turn on the lights in the room. But then Leslie's mother, who had been watching the situation, asked her husband to come to her while smiling cunningly. She whispered something in Bill's ear. Then Bill returned to the blurry living room and stopped beside Leslie. First he ruffled Leslie's hair a bit, and then he reached down to her ear and whispered something to his daughter. Leslie chuckled. After that Bill winked at Jesse, who had been observing the whole thing, and left to join his wife in the kitchen.

Both Jesse and Leslie thanked their luck that the bright lights hadn't been turned on in the room, because judging from their glowing, burning faces they were fiery red like crabs – and the revealing of that would've been simply too embarrassing. After a moment however, Leslie found it safe to turn on the lights and Jesse was preparing to go home.

Bill once again returned as Jesse was putting on his coat. "Hey Jess, I guess you were sorry that you didn't get to the museum? Since you are a "budding artist" and so on… I was thinking that I could drop you off there sometime for a few hours and I could give you a ride back. Would you like that?"

Jesse got excited. "Of course! I mean, if Leslie comes along too", he quickly added.

Bill laughed and wrapped his arm around his daughter standing next to him. "I think that can be done – if you behave yourselves." Leslie smiled shyly and her cheeks turned a little red again.

Then Jesse wished the Burke family a good night and left. As he was walking towards home he turned to look at the house he had just left. A figure waved at him out the window. Jesse waved back. And a song was playing in his mind.

Sugar baby love…

THE END