Growing up in the same neighbourhood as Amy Jones and Samantha Williams, he’d known them from a distance since they were both knee-high to a grasshopper. But he couldn’t remember a single time when the two of them were not together.

If either of them had been in the least bit plain, they would have drawn snide comments from other schoolchildren about their sexuality, no doubt, perhaps even earning nicknames suggesting that their closeness went beyond mere friendship.

But they were far from plain – Amy with her long golden hair and big green eyes, a few sweet freckles on her otherwise perfect face; Samantha with her long mousy hair, a little more demure than her blonde friend but just as breathtakingly attractive. As a result – and the fact that their parents were on the wealthy side – the two girls were the centre of the popular group in school, dating sports studs for the most part – though, of course, always on double dates – and always having someone to open doors for them.

Harry had watched them grow up, turning into stunning young women, and naturally he had daydreamed about being with one or other – or both – of them. Harry wasn’t a sports stud, though. He wasn’t a spod, either – though his parents weren’t rich enough to afford designer outfits like other studs, he wouldn’t have said he was particularly ugly. He was just in that grey middle ground where most kids hang out in school, under the sign that reads “nothing special”.

Things changed when he won the lead in the school play in that final year.

The surprise wasn’t so much that he did win the lead – Romeo, the star-crossed Montague of Verona – he had had some major parts in school plays before and had diligently worked at his acting through his years at school. The surprise was that Samantha Williams won the part of Juliet – it was a bit surprising she’d auditioned at all. Amy had auditioned too, but she didn’t cut the mustard as an actress. The only explanation for their taking interest in the school play was that it was getting towards the end of high school, and they were obviously concerned about having something on their resumé in the ‘interests’ section.

“What d’you mean it’s no big deal?” Finch’s eyes were about as wide as the Mississippi when Harry told him who was to be his Juliet.

Harry shrugged, “It’s just the school play.”

“Yeah, you idiot, don’t you see? You get to make out with Samantha Williams. You never seen the movie?”

Finch was a spod. A brain box with your classic beer-bottle glasses, who wouldn’t get a girlfriend until he hit the jackpot with some clever business move that would bring plenty of gold-diggers out of the woodwork.

They were walking towards the first read through – Finch was the only one of Harry’s friends to have been given a part, in this case the Friar, which was almost good casting.

Harry dismissed his friend’s drooling connotations, he said: “I only get to kiss her once, and it’s not like we’re going to practice. And – it’ll all be on stage, in front of everyone. Including her boyfriend.”

Finch laughed, “You should slip her some tongue. Especially if that ape Jeb is watching.”


The girls were just a mystery to Harry: he was just eighteen and had never been close to one before. They looked so beautiful, they smelled so sweet, their laughter was music to the soul and their smiles could melt his heart in a moment. But he was always sure he wasn’t good enough for them. Especially ones as beautiful and aloof as Samantha. He wasn’t a jock, after all, and apart from the folks that returned again and again to perform in school plays, he wouldn’t have said anyone considered him popular.

So it was quite strange to find himself kissing her – even if it was just for the play.

For a while, they just read through the lines. There were long, gruelling practices and even longer, more gruelling hours of line-learning. Harry had always been pretty good at learning his lines, but it was still the hardest part of a major production. Then, at last, they hit the stage and began to work on the actual performance.

After a couple of weeks, Harry found to his surprise that he was quite comfortable around Samantha. She was beautiful, she was one of an unapproachable clique, but because of their close involvement in the play, he found he could forget about her beauty and previous aloofness, and just see her as another performer.

They were just two performers putting on a show, and though Amy came to watch every rehearsal, after a few practices, Samantha seemed to lose that sheen of cliquey aloofness and for the hour or two of each session, seemed almost to join with the performers’ own loose-knit group.

Then things stepped up a gear. They were practicing the scene in which Romeo and Juliet kissed for the first time. The play director, Mr Howard, took them through it, showing them where they should be on stage, how the characters would be thinking, acting, and so on. He didn’t seem fussed that his two lead performers would have to kiss.

They took it from the top, running through the scene with Harry professing his love for Samantha – his mind completely on the lines, putting himself right in the shoes of Romeo himself. Then they came to the kiss and they both stopped, not really thinking that they’d actually have to –

“Hey, why have you stopped?” Mr Howard yelled. “Keep going! Harry, kiss her for God’s sake. You two are supposed to be lovers!”

The two of them paused a moment as it sank in. Harry looked at Samantha, beautiful Samantha, and a burning ache erupted inside his chest. Kiss her. He noticed a look of complete uncertainty pass over her pretty face as she looked at him. There was a snigger or two from some of the other performers as they watched.

“Come on, let’s go back to the previous page and take it from there,” Mr Howard said. “And don’t stop this time, imagine you are actually in love with each other.”

They went back a page and Harry tried to imagine he was Romeo, not Harry, and that she was Juliet, not Samantha. Like jumping into a pool of ice cold water, he decided the best way to approach it was dive straight in, get the shock over quickly and move on.

He leaned into her, imagining they were in love, he looked into her beautiful brown eyes and his lips touched against hers briefly. Her skin so soft, so sweet, he could smell her delicate perfume, even if it was only for a moment. Then they continued with the next line.

“Wait, wait, wait!” Mr Howard broke in. “What was that? You two ever kissed anybody before, or what? Come on, you’re not supposed to be brother and sister, guys! Make me believe you’re in love. This is all about believability. If the audience don’t believe you’re in love, they’re not gonna care a dime when it comes to the tragedy at the end of the show.”

They went back a page again, and this time when the kiss approached, Harry tried to forget he was Harry and she was Samantha. He tried to imagine he was some stud like Jeb, and Samantha was his girlfriend. He leaned into her and really kissed her, tenderly, gently, tasting her lips and breathing in her sweet scent. And she kissed back, closing her eyes and moaning softly as he ran his fingers through her silky hair.

It seemed to go on forever, the most amazing kiss he’d ever had, stirring the warmth of arousal throughout his body. Her hand slipped around to the back of his head, pressing him to her, keeping the kiss going beyond what seemed necessary.

“Now that’s what I’m talking about,” Mr Howard said as they broke apart at last. “On with the show!”

Harry noticed that there were no sniggers now, the other kids in the hall were silent. Looking into Samantha’s beautiful eyes now, he saw a look of what could only be surprise, shock even. She seemed to be slightly flushed after the kiss, and she was looking completely astounded at him standing there in front of her. After a brief moment, she blushed and then quickly went on with her next line, putting the kiss behind her.

At the end of the rehearsal when Mr Howard called time, Samantha hurried from the stage, leaving Harry to stand there scratching his head. And just before she hugged her friend and led her out of the hall, Amy Jones flashed a strange glare at Harry, as though warning him away from her friend.

“What was it like, what was it like?” Finch demanded, as Harry stood watching Samantha and Amy walking away.

“Incredible,” he replied, his voice seeming far away.

“Damn, you two were really going at it – I can’t believe she let you do that!”

“No,” Harry said. “I can’t believe it, either.”


The next day, Amy came up to him just before rehearsal got going, and she did not look happy.

“I don’t know what you’ve done to dupe her into liking you,” she said with pure venom in her voice, “but you’d better un-do it fast, jerk, or you’ll be sorry.”

“Wh-what?” he stood there a little dazed, not quite knowing what she meant.

“Sam. If you don’t back off, I’ll tell Jeb, and he’ll beat you into a pulp.”

But Harry wasn’t concerned about the threat of Jeb, and in his daze he didn’t even worry about Amy’s ferocious anger. His head was in the clouds, mulling over the blonde’s first words to him there: I don’t know what you’ve done to dupe her into liking you…

“What d’you mean she likes me?” he said, his insides burning with an intense mixture of excitement and uncertainty.

“God, ever since that kiss she’s gone all gooey, I mean God, you’re such a dork,” Amy said before turning her head and storming off to where Samantha sat learning her lines.

Was this all part of some cynical ploy to humiliate him? Setting him up for a fall? Harry looked over to where Samantha sat, seeing her with a new-found interest. So incredibly beautiful – how could she like him? It was ludicrous.

Up on stage, Mr Howard was getting everyone arranged for the opening scene. Harry walked to the front of the auditorium, to sit next to Finch on the front row on the opposite side to Amy and Samantha. Amy noticed him looking their way and flashed him an angry warning glare.

But then Samantha turned and saw him, and gave him a warm, pretty smile.


Of course Harry smiled back, but he turned away from her quickly as he felt the blush spreading across his face. His heart was pounding inside his chest, and he even found he was slightly breathless. But how could she like him? Maybe it was just a friends thing. Maybe Samantha had told Amy she thought Harry was okay, not such a bad guy, not the “dork” the popular kids assumed that everyone outside their clique was.

But it was that word “gooey” that Amy had said that caused Harry to burn inside: that surely meant something.

Then he was up on stage, and though Samantha was sometimes up there with him, with the lines flying thick and fast he had no opportunity to stop and think. But with Mr Howard aiming to put most of this early work into the more tricky and important scenes, they soon came to the kissing scene once again.

As Mr Howard got them going, Samantha looked at Harry, and he thought he detected some fire in her large brown eyes. She grinned impishly, and he was forced to return the expression, without knowing why she was suddenly being nice to him.

And when the moment came, he was rather surprised to find that it was Samantha that leaned forward to kiss him this time, becoming the instigator of the move rather than the reluctant ice maiden.

She kissed him, and fireworks were going off all over the place. It was so incredible, so powerful, the softness of her lips, the sweet scent that filled his lungs, the warmth of her touch and the sweetness of it all. He never wanted it to end, it was the most incredible experience, his body was completely alight, his cock hard as stone as they kissed so tenderly.

“Okay guys,” Mr Howard said, “that’s enough – we’re not staging Nine and a Half Weeks here.”

She broke apart from him, and as the two of them continued with their lines, he saw genuine delight in her face – she couldn’t be that good an actress, surely. Not in her first major production.

Then the scene came to a close, and Mr Howard decided to go back to a scene with Benvolio, in which neither Romeo nor Juliet were present. Harry wasn’t involved and neither was Samantha, but as he walked off-stage to his surprise she accompanied him, and said furtively: “Where did you learn to kiss like that?”

A shot of heat shot through his heart. He gulped, and said: “Uh… well…”

“You’re a really good kisser,” she said, all warm smiles and so heart-stoppingly beautiful. “I’m sure stage kisses aren’t usually like that.”

And then Amy was there, taking Samantha away from him without even acknowledging his presence or existence. Figured.


Harry’s preconceptions about Samantha had been rocked – as much by her change in attitude towards him as by her kiss. The aloof picture formed over his school years had begun to tumble down, and goodness how he wanted it to! He wanted to be with her, breathing her in, kissing her and not stopping for anyone.

But was it really possible?

Lying awake at night, he thought about her pretty smile, and his cock was like a pillar of rock – so much so that he found it very difficult to get to sleep. The feelings running through him were so strong – wonder at the experience of kissing her, surprise at what she had said, bewilderment and a little dread at the attack from Amy Jones. His biggest feeling was hope, hope that he could kiss her again like that, hope that it was more than just a stage kiss, more than just acting.

But the trouble was, the only time he could get alone with her – or at least, away from Amy – was up on stage, right in front of everyone. Otherwise, Samantha and Amy were inseparable.


All through school the next day, Harry acted as though nothing was going on. He acted as usual in class, talking to his friends, Finch, the others, smiling and chatting as though everything was as it had always been. Finch questioned him about his Juliet, but Harry brushed it off easily.

His calm was put on. Under the surface, a million butterflies of pure uncertainty were fluttering around his insides. He couldn’t stop thinking about Samantha, he really could not stop thinking about that last kiss, and he could not wait for that evening’s rehearsal, to see her again, to kiss her again.

Yet when the time came, Harry’s hopes were dealt a crushing blow: Mr Howard said they’d nailed the more intimate scenes, where Romeo and Juliet kiss. They would spend the rest of the time until the dress rehearsals on some other scenes. There would be no more kissing of Samantha until the actual staging of the production.

He hid his disappointment well, but secretly he was mourning that he would have no excuse to get close to Samantha. And that dufus Jeb was in the audience for this rehearsal, too – sitting next to Amy and her boyfriend as though he were a chaperone. Amy had to have requested his presence.

Still, she was still there, just the sight of her seemed to make his heart beat faster. Stunning. And when she looked at him, she smiled as though he was an old friend rather than someone she considered a “dork”, as Amy apparently did.

He managed to put aside his feelings of disappointment and roll on with his scenes, and thankfully he forgot about it all. The play was going pretty well – Finch was a surprise hit as the Friar – while his death scenes with Samantha were really quite moving.

So it was something of a surprise when she came up to him at the end and said quietly: “Would you mind doing some extra practice with me some time?”

“Extra practice?” he didn’t quite get what she meant, mainly because it was so unexpected.

“Yeah, I mean… if you want to.” She was toying with a strand of hair – was she nervous? How could Samantha Williams be nervous? With the pause growing awkward, she said: “I mean we could run over some of the scenes a little more – so we’re more confident. Mr Howard said it would be a good idea to do some practice out of hours.”

“He did?”

“Yeah,” she smiled warmly. “He said there wasn’t enough time for everyone to get together often enough to really get good enough.”

Harry saw Amy and Jeb stand up, heading slowly towards the steps up to the stage. There was little time left. And funnily enough, he noticed that Samantha also reacted to them approaching, as though she had similar feelings with her best friend and boyfriend on the way over.

“Uh… so how about it?” she said almost under her breath, pressing him to answer before Amy came over.

“Uh yeah…” he said, not believing that she wanted to spend more time with him. His heart was turning in cartwheels, “absolutely.”

“Great!” she smiled cheerfully – the most beautiful picture ever. She slipped a small piece of paper in his hand and said: “Why don’t you come over to my house about eight?”

“Sure,” he said, his voice drying up from this surprising development.

She smiled again, then as Amy and Jeb and Amy’s boyfriend Greg came up behind them, she put a finger to her lips to furtively urge him to keep quiet about their extra practices.

“You were great!” Amy said, putting an arm around her friend before almost physically forcing her to turn her back on Harry and walk away, leaving him standing there with powerful hope burning sensation in his chest.


The clock seemed to move so slowly towards eight o’clock that evening. After the rehearsal, Harry went home and surprised his parents slightly by refusing supper. Instead, he went to the bathroom and took a long shower, making sure he was as clean as clean could be.

He couldn’t be certain that Samantha wanted to do anything… intimate… perhaps she did just want to practice the scenes, go over their lines, ensure that the play would be a huge success. But Harry couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility that she might want to see how far their wonderful kiss might go unchecked and out of sight of the other play performers – and Amy.

He felt it was all so unreal, this seemed so unlikely – a nobody like him thinking, hoping, he would be given a chance with a somebody like Samantha. A beauty like her. He felt like the ugly duckling that had woken up one morning to find he was a magnificent swan.

And the biggest hint had to be that Samantha hadn’t wanted him to let Amy know he was coming over.


At last, eight o’clock approached, and he found the address she’d written on that piece of paper – she must have written it before that rehearsal – and headed out to find her house.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, her house was in the wealthy side of town – Beauleigh Heights, no less – and when he turned up at the gate, Harry’s jaw dropped in awe. It was a mammoth house, a mansion! Her parents had to be very well-off. Business magnates, lawyers, surgeons or something.

He felt very small walking up the drive to the front door. And as he stood in the porch in front of the door, he felt very nervous. He wasn’t exactly experienced with girls – what if he mis-read her signals? It could all go so badly wrong… And at the edge of his mind there was Amy, who would somehow organise his destruction if she found out he wasn’t keeping his distance from her best friend.


He didn’t have time to be nervous – before he even rang the doorbell, the door opened and there was Samantha, looking divine as usual. Tonight, with her hair tied in a long ponytail, she was dressed in a pair of soft pink sweatpants and a spotless white tank-top that left her midriff tantalisingly bare as well as the soft swell of the top of her pert little breasts, which made it difficult for Harry to keep his eyes on hers.

“Uh… hi…” he said.

“I’m so glad you made it!” she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. She was wearing a trace of expensive perfume – just enough to heighten her femininity, catch his attention, but not enough to swamp him or asphyxiate him.