Thinking of Kirstin and what she said about amping up a little, I decide to lean against Scott. I feel his slight hesitation before he puts his arm so we can snuggle together, wrapping it around me and resting it lightly on my hip. “Thanks for letting me eat dinner with you two,” I say to him. “All those carbs made Lindsey really tired.”
He chuckles. “Yeah, she was basically already sleeping when I put her in my bed.”
I consider whether my next question is appropriate and then decide I don’t care. “Are you tired?” I say in a mildly sexy voice.
He doesn’t seem to have a reaction to how I said it or what I said. I realize that the words wouldn’t be considered inappropriate usually; I was just hoping he’d take it that way. “More from work than from the carbs. I think I might take a shower.”
My immediate thought, that I’m a little ashamed about, is maybe I could join you. But I don’t say that. “Okay. Do you mind if I stick around here?”
“Oh of course not. You’re always welcome. I’ll be out in five minutes anyway.”
“And maybe…” I trail off. Don’t say it. I shouldn’t say that.
He’s standing up. “What?”
“Just tell me.” He has a little smirk on his voice, enjoying the playful banter.
I clear my throat a little and say quietly, “I was just gonna say that maybe you could come out with… some of your clothes… not on…”
His eyebrows shoot up. “Only if there’s an exchange, Grassi. If I come out with my clothes not on, you best be taking yours off real quick.” The sentence is unlike what I had expected him to say. Is it possible that he is starting to get impatient with our lack of affection, too?
“Well, of course, otherwise it wouldn’t be any fun.” I laugh, open and surprisingly not too embarrassed. “But I’m going to wait and see what you decide to leave off because…. Well, if I don't, then you might find me completely naked.”
He shakes his head and rolls his eyes. “I’m going to go shower now.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
And in no time, Scott, wet hair and all, is sitting next to me, smelling fresh. I miss the scent of flour that used to stick to his skin long after his hours of work at the bakery.
He left his shirt off and has baggy sweatpants on. I’m still in my dressy clothing from work, and once I see him with no shirt, I honor my deal. I loosen my tie and slip it over my head. “Oomf, Grassi.”
“What?” I giggle. “I’m not even shirtless yet. Was me taking off my tie just too much for you?”
“Yes,” he says with a twinge of sarcasm.
I lift my butt off the couch in order to have enough room to untuck my shirt, causing me to be in a silly position, so I look over to Scott and stick my tongue out while crossing my eyes. He chuckles. My hands find my top button when I’m fully resituated on the couch and fumble to unbutton it.
“Let me?” He asks, as if I’d ever say no. I turn to face him and watch him completely unbutton my shirt. He takes a second to stare at the part of me that is now bare, then proceeds to guide the shirt off my body. His hands, his strong, strong hands, touch my torso and goosebumps suddenly cover my arms.
“What if Lindsey wakes up?” I whisper, my voice like a campfire- crackling and warm with the idea of the heat rising.
“She won’t,” Scott assures. “And besides, it’s just kissing.”
He sits back into the couch and pulls me closer to him, nudging his lips toward mine and finally connecting them tenderly. His skin feels soft against my ginger fingertips, and I can somehow feel how clean he is. His muscles loom out towards me, almost making me quiver. I hope he can't feel that when his hands explore the valleys of my back. His tongue plays with mine right at the entrance of my mouth, teasing me ever so slightly. It irritates me in the best way.
Maybe to him this is 'just kissing', but to me, it’s so much more.
Kirstin covers her ears as if she’s about to hear a bomb go off. “No, no, no, I can’t listen to this anymore. It’s painful.”
“I know,” I admit, shaking my head. “I told you that my life is broken.”
“I mean… the night could’ve been a lot worse, but...” she says, her voice still coated in pity, “I can’t believe he didn’t jump on this opportunity.”
“I told you. Sure, the kissing was nice and feeling his abs was a definite plus, but I don’t think we’re going to get further for a really long time.”
“Is that something you’re okay with?”
I shrug to her, stirring my oatmeal thoughtlessly. “I mean, yeah. I've gone this long without, and it's not like I want anyone else.”
“Well,” she seems more optimistic now, “at least you got to kiss him.”
I shovel oatmeal into my mouth. So much oatmeal that when I try to speak, my cheeks are still puffed out like a slobbering dog. She starts giggling really hard. I swallow and roll my eyes at her.
“So what are you doing over the weekend?” I question, considering if I should invite her to do something with me. I don’t know what yet, and I don’t want to sound stupid, but I do want to build this friendship as much as possible. I already feel close with her, and it’s only been a few days.
“Planning a baby shower with my friends.” She pauses, acting like it’s no big deal. “Omg, you should totally come help. Then you can meet all my friends!”
I smile a little. “That sounds really nice, Kirstin, thanks.”
“I know I probably shouldn’t be helping with it, but I don’t really trust their sense of style. Anyway, it’ll be fun. We’re meeting at my house at eleven on Saturday morning. They’re going to be having mimosas. I will be drinking sparkling whatever.” She pulls out her phone. “Can I have your number to text you the address?” As I tell her, her nails clack on the screen of her phone. “It’s probably a no-go, but if your babe Scott wants to drop by too, he’s more than welcome. He’ll probably be your date to my wedding.”
I almost choke on my water. “I’m,” I place my hand on my chest in shock and a little of a self-deprecating manner, “invited to your wedding?”
“Until you piss me off, yeah.” She gives me a bright, flashy smile that lets me know she’s joking.
“Well then that invitation isn’t going to last very long.”
We both laugh and head back to work where I sit at my desk and meet new people to discuss finances, but when I have the time to myself, I find myself actually excited to go to Kirstin’s house to gossip with her friends. Typically, I only like to be with one or two people at a time, but the older I get, the more I realize that the more people I have to call on, the more support I’ll have and the happier I’ll be.
Scott may not be around forever, you know.