PART 2: The Honeymooners - Chapter 2

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Nope, sorry, I tried, and I can't do it

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Nope, sorry, I tried, and I can't do it.

Huffing, breathless, I pause the HIIT workout video I'm following on YouTube and storm across the hallway, leaning into the steamy kitchen.

"Could you please turn that down?"

"What?" Danny shouts back, over the roar of the fan over the oven, and the Spanish podcast he's listening to.

"I said, could you turn that down?"


I'm grinding my teeth and resenting the interruption to my workout; I run a hand over my flushed face and don't notice him reaching to turn off the fan and hitting pause on the podcast until it's too late and I'm yelling into a now-silent kitchen:


Danny blinks at me, taken aback.

I'm breathing hard, but now it's nothing to do with the workout.

"And will you open a fucking window? It's like a sauna in here."

Danny turns down the temperature on the hob, giving the bolognese he's making one last stir before turning to me. Somewhere in the depths of my kitchen, he's found an apron. Pink gingham. I vaguely recognise it as one that my mum bought, when she helped kit me out in my new flat. He's not wearing a shirt under it; I'd have teased him about it, maybe made a couple of flirty comments, but I think we both know that wouldn't go down well.

"Your kitchen windows are locked," he tells me, "and I didn't want to interrupt your workout."

"Bit late for that," I mutter, scowling, but stride across the kitchen to open a drawer by the sink and get the key out, unlocking the windows and throwing them wide open. The fresh air feels glorious, especially when I think about how we can't go outside, and I take a second to try to calm down and enjoy it, and stop feeling so angry.

I tell him, "I couldn't even hear the workout video, for all the noise. Look, I gave it a shot, Danny, but this isn't working out."


"I'm a morning person. I'm an early bird! I like starting my day with a workout. I like getting up early and taking fifteen minutes to meditate when the sun's coming up, and having a cup of tea out on my balcony before I start my day! Not rolling out of bed barely in time to pee before my first meeting of the day!"

Danny stares at me with those big, dark eyes, and his lovely long eyelashes, mouth hanging open, before bursting into laughter so suddenly that I jump back.


Catching his breath, he steps towards me, putting his hands on my arms. "Isla, honestly. This isn't working out. I thought you were talking about us for a minute, not – not your workout schedule! Bloody hell. You scared the life out of me for a second there."

All the pent-up anger I've been holding onto for the last few minutes (and, alright, since I started my workout this evening) suddenly rushes out of me, and I'm laughing too, brushing his hands away when he strokes some wispy hairs back from my face, drawing me towards him for a kiss.

"Don't," I say, still giggling. "Danny, I'm all gross and sweaty."

"I don't mind," he murmurs, kissing all over my face and making me laugh again before his hands are around my waist and he draws me close, his lips on mine, and I can feel myself positively melting into him. I'd never gotten that feeling when I kissed a guy, before Danny. There was always too much tongue or bad breath or that one guy who didn't so much as kiss as just suck on my upper lip. (Which, honestly, I'd tried to work past, because he was really hot and I'd met him through tennis and on paper we were a great match, but...)

Danny, though, takes my breath away.

I don't even care anymore that all his stupid noise while he cooked and his stupid podcast blasting through the Alexa speakers was driving me insane, or that he said he can't watch a movie with me this evening because he has to do some more work after dinner, or even that he's seeing me so gross and sweaty, mid-workout, when he's barely even seen me without makeup on, before this week.

I don't care, because he's kissing me, and the way his tongue drags over my lower lip and the way his body is pressed against mine feels so goddamn wonderful.

"You know, you ruined my workout," I mumble against his lips, when we finally part for air. My hands press against the bare skin of his back, warm and smooth. "You should definitely have to make that up to me."

Danny laughs and peels away from me, shifting saucepans around, poking things with a wooden spoon and turning off the hobs. "Aren't I already cooking you dinner?"


He turns away from the oven to scoop me up, so suddenly that I squeal. He pulls me against him, hands on my butt, and hoists me up, wrapping my legs around his waist. He grins at me, one eyebrow quirking upwards when he says, "You know, I can think of an alternative way you could burn some calories..."

I laugh, trying to wriggle down. "Get off. If I'm not going to finish my HIIT class, I need to take a shower."

"Oh yeah?"

I know exactly what he's thinking and my arms tighten around his neck, even though he's already let me go and set me back on my feet. I stick my chin out. "Yeah."

Danny's nose nuzzles against mine, his breath ghosting over my mouth. "How about I join you?"

"You'd better," I tell him, already kissing him again as I walk backwards, dragging him out of the kitchen and out towards the bathroom.

Maybe having my boyfriend around in lockdown isn't so bad, after all.

            Maybe having my boyfriend around in lockdown isn't so bad, after all

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