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I pull Alana into me before she slams her hands against the top of the car. I could feel the frustration rolling off her body but when she settles into my arms and blows out the poof of air I can feel her relax. I kissed the side of her head and murmured calming words into her ear. We stood silent in the parking lot for a few minutes before she turns in my arms and looks up at me. Her eyes and cheeks were red and flushed.

"I hate that a part of me cares." Alana murmured, her voice full of emotion, as she swiped a strand of hair behind her ear.

"How could a part of us not?" I say as my parents come to mind. "They were all we knew once, they were all we had, that piece of us that loves them wants them to love us just as much. It begs for the approval of our parents."

"How can I be so dumb, Francesca?"

My mother flashes in my mind, a memory follows close behind and I wait for a moment. I let the warmth of my bed and her warm embrace bring me back to my childhood. I let the feeing of her remind me of what we were before the boarding schools and the abandoning me. She had loved me so deeply, even I had known that I was her whole world, she and I against the world -- against my asshat of a father. Yes, my father who had always made his approval, love, adoration conditional in every sense of the world.

"You're human." I whisper before kissing her softly.

"Make it all go away." Alana says and an idea pops into my head.

"Let's go home." I mutter as I open the car door for her.

"To your new penthouse that you have yet to see?"

I grin with a wink. "I've seen pictures and we still have to break in that bed."

"Is there's nothing else we can do?"

"We haven't been on a date."

Alana looks at me curiously as a small smile plays on her lips. "Aren't we kinda pass the whole first date arrangement?"

"Nope." I open the car door for her. Alana stares at me in a bit of a shock. She can't seem to make a decision of whether she is excited or shocked and I kinda enjoyed the idea of it being both. She had not yet seen the truly romantic part of me.

"I'm not in love with you."

The statement is so solid that my smile falters for a second. I wasn't exactly surprised, it was barely two weeks ago that she had finally accepted that she felt anything for me. It would be a fool's hope to imagine that she was already in love with me. Even I wasn't so sure that I was in love with her. I was definitely deeply into her, something that teetered so closely to love that one step forward and I would jump clear across the line.

"Is this about what your mother said at lunch?"

Alana looked away from me and I smiled wider. She wasn't in love with me but she was something with me. "Maybe."

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