I put my car in drive and headed off to my place to grab a bag of things for the evening ahead. When I got there I stashed my new treasure and quickly hurried around my room looking for my one piece, what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.
With Nathan it had been different, I was so young when we met that I didn’t have a clue what love really was. Six years in I thought it was normal, I thought everyone had a relationship like mine. Boy, did he have me snowed. It wasn’t until that one night when he met me and the few friends I had for celebratory drinks after our graduation that it didn’t feel right. I knew the look in his eyes instantly when Brad hugged me. I didn’t hug back but it didn’t matter. Fast forward three years and I was twenty-six, it was two days after my birthday when I woke up. I’d broken up with him six months before that day and those six months were worse than the entire nine years we were together.
I cringed at the thought as I filled my little overnight bag with the essentials. Deciding on bringing an outfit for tomorrow was easy, a simple tank and some jean shorts and a light hoodie with a pair of gray chucks all fit perfect in the small bag. I didn’t know if I’d be spending the night or not but it was always in my nature to be prepared. I stopped to glimpse in the mirror almost shocked to see a smile on my face like I hadn’t seen in a long time. He put that smile there, I thought as I locked my door and walked to my car. I glanced at the time on the dash and I was making good time.
I let myself think about our day as I drove, careful not to miss the turn off for his street as I got closer. We had such an easy day that I hoped it would continue into this evening. Was I nervous, sure, but not for anything Elliot would do, he was, different. I was nervous about eventually having to talk about what he would see, what he would ask me questions about. He would want to know and I just wondered if I would be able to tell him. I’d told the last man I was with and it didn’t take him long to run for the hills, that was almost a year ago and that insecurity I’d felt still haunted me in every session I had with my therapist.
A loud tap on my window shook me from those thoughts and when I turned I found those whiskey-colored eyes searching mine. I was so stuck in my thoughts that I hadn’t noticed him pulling in, getting out or waiting next to my car.
“Hey cupcake, you hungry?” he said loudly, grinning like a fool at me.
I turned off the car and unbuckled and before I could even open the door he was doing it. I reached around and grabbed my bag from the backseat and moved to get out but he stopped me. His hand ever so lightly touching the side of my face.
“You okay?” he asked softly, his expression quizzical.
I nodded and moved forward resting my forehead on his and just stayed there like that for a minute.
“One day you’ll tell me, right? I mean when you are ready,” he said, the hoarseness of his voice wrapping around me like a blanket.
“Yes,” I answered.
“The food is getting cold…” he whispered with a little chuckle before letting his lips crash into mine.
I again nodded through our kiss and pulled away, his stomach was still grumbly and was making sure I was hearing it. I laughed a small laugh, “Elliot lets feed you before your stomach declares war on me, okay,”
I watched as he turned away, the muscles in his arms bulging as he propelled himself up the small slope of the driveway. I followed him in through the now open garage and into the house through a door that I thought was a closet before but not before noticing the motorcycle in the garage.
“Do you still ride?” I asked as we unloaded the food on his kitchen table.
“I have a few times… it’s just not the same…” he said as a flicker of sadness briefly crossed his features and then disappeared.
“I rode on the back of one once, not my thing really. I think it scared me a little too much,” I said.
“Riding on one and actually driving one are two completely different experiences. You are much more in control when you are the one actually doing the driving and it’s much less terrifying,” he answered, zipping around gathering plates and utensils.
“I’ll take your word for it, Elliot. What do you want to drink?” I asked as I opened the fridge.
“There should be some beers in there if you want one, I’ll take one,” he answered.
I realized while watching him maneuver around his kitchen, that I liked watching him, the fluid movements he used, the way his confidence inflated while he was in his own element, it was awesome. He always seemed to have a subtle confidence about him but here he was comfortable, I’d missed that the other night when I was here somehow.
“Sit let’s eat so we can get in the water,” he said catching me watching.
While we ate he started telling me about his brothers and laughing he told me that anything they said tomorrow I should ignore.
“Really Taylor, they can be total jackasses at times. With you coming over it will be a free for all…” he told me,
“I think I’ll enjoy watching you squirm just a little…” I joked.
“I see how tomorrow is going to go… I’m wounded that you would like seeing me in misery,” he faked hurt.
“No, no, I’ll be on your side, don’t worry…” I said reaching for his hand across the table.
“They are going to love you, you know…” he blurted out, “I mean…”
“It’s okay, I knew what you meant…” I tried to ease his mind.
We sat quietly for a while like that before he gently freed his hand and started gathering our plates, “Let me do the dishes.”
“No, they can wait, it’s pool time,” he said with a smile.
I watched as he wheeled toward his bedroom pausing as he passed the bathroom, “You can change in here or there are guest rooms upstairs if you would rather…”
“I’ll be fine in the bathroom, Elliot,” I answered, relieved that he offered separate changing areas.
“Ok… take your time, it takes me a little while to… give me fifteen minutes,” he said a flash of irritation taking the place of his smile,
I simply nodded and ducked into the bathroom. I slowly changed and putzed around for a little while before I emerged to find his bedroom door still closed. I could hear him rustling around a bit as I made my way to the kitchen to do the dishes.
“I thought I said those could wait?” he laughed.
“I know but it was easier to just get them done now. Then you won’t have to do them later,” I said, taking in his tanned skin, and the muscle definition of his chest and arms that were now on display.
He was watching my reaction to his body, challenging me, as I gave him the once over. The tan of his upper body was darker than his legs, which uncovered, I noticed were much less defined and thinner than they should be. His faded American flag board shorts covering to just above his knees and the blue flip flops were exactly what I would have imagined him in. I finally met his eyes and the uncertainty that was brewing there was almost painful to witness. I stepped closer, not breaking eye contact with him and gently found my perch on his lap, my hand behind his head I pulled his face close to me and let my lips find his. He was gorgeous to me. I was realizing that even though it had not even been a week I was hooked.
“What was that for?” he asked breaking the kiss.
“You’re hot, you know that?” I smirked, noticing that instead of uncertainty, his eyes held something much different now, fascination.
“You are…” I reiterated.
“Alright cupcake, to the pool!” he laughed shaking his head at my comments.
I reluctantly climbed from his lap and followed him through the french doors out onto his deck watching as he bounced down the small step at the threshold. I paused at the expanse in front of me, the two level deck that led to a beautiful concrete in the ground pool. I’d seen it through the window but when I got out there it was gorgeous. Lounge chairs sat along the right side of the clear blue pool and on the lower level of the deck were large chaise lounges that looked comfier than my bed. The landscaping was impeccable as black mulch housed small well-kept shrubs, and trees lined the entire back yard hiding the dark wood fence. I noticed two small window planters on the railing near the grill on the upper level of the deck and walked over to get a closer look.
“Those are just some herbs, I try and try, but for some reason, I can’t keep them going…black thumb, I guess,” he chuckled.
“Elliot, how do you ever leave your house? This is like heaven,” I said, breathless.
“Sometimes it is hard… you should have seen it before I did most of this. It was all grass,” he said with a far away look.
“Well you did one hell of a job, it’s amazing,” I said, squeezing his shoulder.
“I’m glad you approve, I wish I got to spend more time out here but it gets boring when it’s just me,” he said.
“I’ll keep you company, any time you want,” I smiled.
“Okay, let’s grab some towels and get in, the water should be pretty warm,” he said, motioning to the storage chest along the lower level.
He easily rolled down the small ramp next to the three steps I was walking down and pulled out two giant fluffy towels, handing one to me and placed the other on his lap. I followed his lead down to the pool still mesmerized by the beauty of it while he was laying his towel out on one of the chairs. I kicked into gear then realizing he was sitting there watching me take it all in. He seemed to do that a lot, watch me, that is, and he seemed to enjoy it. Like seeing me experience something gave him a type of pleasure that I may never understand. I gave him a shy smile before placing my towel and lifting my old t-shirt over my head exposing the navy and white striped suit I was wearing. I heard him suck in a breath and instantly i felt the blush creeping up to my cheeks.
“Talk about hot Taylor…” he said coming closer.
“Just well proportioned,” I joked, feeling his hands around my waist pulling me down to his lap.
“You are not just well proportioned, you are gorgeous, every bit of you…” he breathed into my neck as he nuzzled into me.
“Right back at ya, fella…” I replied, reveling in the feeling of his body so close to mine.
He didn’t’ reply, he just kissed me, then kissed me some more, finally as he broke the kiss he began trailing them across my skin, down my neck, across my collarbone driving me crazy. I tightened my grip on the back of his neck, the sexual tension causing my heart rate to speed up.
“Elliot…” I breathed.
“Yeah, cupcake?” He let out between kisses.
“I don’t think if you keep that up I will want to stop…” i said pulling back from him, his body becoming rigid at my words.
I wanted him, no I needed him. Like I needed oxygen. But I didn’t want to do this yet, I was already emotionally invested so deep that if something went wrong I would be devastated. I wanted to take things slow with him, enjoy this ledge for a while longer before we fell to the next one.
“Sorry…” he said shyly, his face guarded.
“Don’t be sorry, Elliot. I want you, very much, but I want to take this slow…I haven’t… what I mean is… I don’t want to, oh hell, it’s been a long while for me and I haven’t ever had the best relationships… I want to enjoy this with you…” I tried to explain without really explaining.
“I can respect that Taylor… I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” he said sheepishly as his body relaxed just a little.
“You didn’t make me uncomfortable, you make me anything but uncomfortable, I just don’t want to rush it,” I responded resting my forehead on his.
“Okay…turtle pace engaged…” He laughed.
“Maybe not a turtle’s pace, you nerd,” I laughed too.
“What about a snail, or slug?” he continued to joke before I took his mouth.