22. Seeing White

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Elle felt a slight squeeze on her arm and opened her eyes to find Dean staring down at her. "I have to go," he whispered.

"What time is it?"

"A little bit past four."

She bolted upright. He had told her he couldn't stay too late. That he'd made plans to see Jared and take him out for a pint of beer on his last night as a bachelor.

"Why didn't you wake me?"

"Didn't have the heart to, you looked so peaceful."

"But you were meant to meet your brother..." she trailed off.

Dean ran his fingers up and down the curve of her hips with a smile. "I'm making it up to him with breakfast. I have to sneak back into the house before mum comes knocking on our door, unless you want me to stay," he winked at her mischievously.

Elle pecked him on the lips with a smile and pushed him away. "Get going before either Bonnie or your mum wake up."

Dean kissed her a long time before jumping off the bed and throwing his clothes back on. "Do you girls want me to pick you up tonight?"

"God, no, we'll take a cab. You're the best man today. Focus on that."

"I'd rather not, but okay," he smiled, giving her another peek and rushed out of the apartment as quietly as he could.

Elle's heart thudded in her chest. She had never fussed over her relationships, but now that Dean had come along, it took a strange toll on her. She was both excited and nervous about seeing him later in the day. Something about it scared her. She just hoped it wasn't a case of infatuation on her behalf. She would not destroy a man like that. She knew she felt something more for Dean but how much more, she couldn't say. All she knew was she didn't want to feel obliged to start a relationship regardless of how she felt. She fetched her phone from her bag and scrambled back to bed.

"Please don't tell anyone about us. Not yet." She sent the text and impatiently waited for his in return. They hadn't really talked about their 'relationship'. They were both gone with the flow but she wanted to be careful, especially after the little incident with Mrs. Stewart the night before.

"Why?" her phone beeped and she could almost hear his voice in her head.

"It's all moving so fast..." she sent back, though what she truly wanted to text was 'We won't break each other's hearts, will we?' Then realising what her message might sound like, she immediately typed. "I don't want to end up hurting you. All I know is I feel something strongly."

Her phone buzzed again. "What are you getting at?"

Her heart thundered inside. She could almost imagine the hurt on his face. Instead of texting back another ill-thought-out text, she called him.

Instead of hello, Dean simply repeated himself. "What are you getting at?"

"I don't know,' she said. "We have so many things to think about, like how we could possibly ever see each other. You live here, I live there," they were the first thoughts to come to mind. "I have a child that relies on me, and you have a mother who does the same."

"All that you've said so far only means working out travel logistics and two people who are only trying to suss out how much they stand to lose or gain." His voice echoed slightly and Elle guessed he was still down in the garage.

Elle didn't know what she wanted to say.

"Elle, I can't wait for your answer forever. I have somewhere to be."

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