e a movie to go to, and I’m starting to grow tired of hearing all the things I should have known. There’s a slightly tight expression on Grant’s face, too, and his eyes are tired and sad. But neither of us are angry; we’re just beginning to realize how wrong things had gone for us.
“Ready to go?” Grant asks.
“Yeah,” I say, standing as he picks up the bill.
He pays for the meal, which makes me smile and insist that I pick up the movie tickets, and then we step out into the brisk evening air. I pull my jacket closer together to keep the chill out.
“How are you feeling?” I ask Grant.
“A little stunned,” Grant says with a chuckle, and I relax; so far, he isn’t rethinking this. “There’s so much we didn’t know. But…I’m kind of glad we’re talking about it, you know? It hurts a little, but I think this is really important.”
“I agree,” I say with a small smile. “No matter what happens next between us, we need to know each other like this.”
“Exactly,” Grant says with a nod.
Maybe, after this date is finished, Grant and I will decide to remain just friends. I have to remind myself that this is still a possibility. Talking with Grant has reminded me of just how compatible we are, but I don’t know if he wants a relationship like that with me anymore. I don’t know even know, right now, if a relationship like that will work anymore, not after everything I’m finding out about what I don’t know. I feel like I have to apologize to Grant for not asking enough questions three years ago. For once, though, I’m not alone in fault.
However, my thoughts judder to a halt when Grant quietly reaches out and tugs my hand into his. It’s the first time he’s touched me tonight, other than when he helped me down off the bike. My breath catches and my heart stutters in my chest. His palm is large, and his fingers curl comfortingly around mine.
It’s a warm touch, unlike the fierce, sexual touches we’ve shared up until this point. We haven’t touched each other like this in three years, I think dazedly. Even since we reunited, we’ve only touched each other to have sex.
Grant glances at me, perhaps to see my reaction, In response, I tighten my fingers around his, and a smile blooms across my face. Who cares about everything we didn’t know? We’re learning about those things now. We’re both here, trying our best, no matter where this is going to end up.
That’s what’s important.
As the bike nears my apartment, I feel sad. I don’t want this date to end just yet. It’s been absolutely wonderful. How long has it been since I’ve had Grant like this? I’m terrified of letting go of this moment and losing the contentment that is settling in my stomach.
So, when Grant parks the bike, I steel my courage.
“Would you like to come up for coffee?” I ask.
Grant looks up at me. Coffee can mean many different things. But I’m not really inviting him up for sex. I wouldn’t say no, of course. I just don’t want the night to end just yet, even if we spend the next few hours watching crappy television on my couch with warm mugs of coffee to keep us awake.
Grant’s eyes search my face, and maybe he sees this. Because a smile spreads across his face.
“Sounds good,” he says. “Let me just lock up.”
I give him back his helmet. His fingers touch mine and linger for a moment. His eyes meet my gaze, and there’s something hot and heavy in his expression that makes a ball of fire burn in the pit of my stomach.
Coffee, I remind myself. I’m not going to throw myself at Grant, not this time. We’ve just had a wonderful date, and I’m not going to ruin it.
But, is it just my imagination that Grant seems to walk a little closer, with heat emanating from his body? I can hear the rustle of his jacket as he walks beside me, and his arm brushes against mine as we head to my apartment. It makes me so flustered that I drop my keys as I get them out of my bag.
I step inside, hearing Grant come in after me. I open my mouth as the door closes, intending on asking Grant to sit on the couch while I make the hot drinks.
Then arms wind around me, spinning me so fast that I feel dizzy, and my back meets my front door as Grant’s lips find mine.
The first thing that occurs to me is that Grant has initiated this. Not once, since we reunited, has Grant touched or kissed me first. It’s always been me first, while he has just responded each time with enthusiasm. Now he’s crowding in close to me, his tongue wiggling inside my mouth to tangle with mine, pulling heated groans out of me as his hand slips underneath my jacket and shirt to splay across my stomach. His leg is pushing itself between both of mine and my head is spinning both from the suddenness of all of this and the way he’s making me feel.
Forget coffee. I’m far happier with this.
I want to ask him if he’s sure, though. We don’t have to have sex. This is our first date, the first time that we’ve been out like this in three years, because I definitely don’t count all our encounters up until now. It’s our clean slate. Will having sex ruin this?
But, on the other hand, I don’t want to voice the question. What if he stops? God, I can’t bear the idea of him stopping right now. His touch is leaving fiery trails all over my skin, and it’s making it hard to think of anything other than begging him to keep doing it.
“Fuck,” Grant says harshly, pulling away just enough that I can feel his breath on my tingling lips. “Fuck, Jessica. Do you know how much I’ve wanted you this entire time? It was torture sitting so close to you in the theater, knowing that you were right there, knowing that I couldn’t do anything other than hold your hand while so many people were there.”
He’s wanted this since we were at the theater? The question dies in my mind. I don’t need to ask it. He’s already given me the answer. He wants me. He’s starting this. I’m still desirable to him, even after finding out just how badly we failed each other three years ago.