The pads of my fingers brushed against his, and I pinched some of the pebbles and sprinkled them down into the water. Very large, very bright orange and red fish bobbed at the surface, opening up carnivorous mouths to greedily swallow the food.
We stood there silently, our bodies touching, saying nothing until his palm was empty.
Sex with Cam this morning had been amazing, a truly incredible experience, but I was realizing that this moment right here, where we were calm and still together, was the kind of moment that drew us even closer in ways that sex never could.
Chemistry between two people was one thing… but this… this feeling that was bubbling up inside me and making everything feel trembly and excited was something completely different.
It was more than chemistry.
He leaned down and pressed a kiss to my shoulder, his lips searing my skin and making my eyes slide shut.
“Date starts now,” he told me.
“But I’m all sweaty and gross from work.”
“There is nothing gross about you.”
“Sweat is gross.”
“Sweat is hot, especially when I’m the one that makes your skin slick with it.”
I shivered in his hold and he chuckled, knowing exactly where my mind just traveled.
“C’mon, I’ll drive you home so you can shower.”
He linked one of our hands together and then pulled away, tugging me alongside him as we weaved through the crowds underneath the hot summer sky. A little thrill went through me when we walked up to his bike.
He reached for his helmet and I shook my head vehemently. “Oh no. That thing weighs like fifty pounds.”
“It protects you.”
“But when I wear it, I can’t lean all the way against you.”
He pursed his lips and studied me. The he sighed dejectedly. “Fine. But I’m going to drive like a granny.”
I grinned and climbed on behind him after he strapped the helmet to the back.
“Aren’t you going to wear it?”
“I would look like the biggest douche alive if I drove around with a helmet on my head and not on my girl’s.”
I swear everything that came out of his mouth turned me into a giant pile of mush.
“Hold on,” he said and started the bike as my arms wound around his waist. As we pulled out of the parking lot, I leaned up against him, pressing my cheek to his back and watching the scenery slowly pass.
I was really starting to like this bike.
I was a little disappointed when he pulled into the parking lot of my building and parked. I sat there even after the bike shut off, with my arms wrapped around him. Then I sighed. I was acting like a stalker. I pulled back, but he reached down and grasped my arms, still holding them around him. “Just another minute,” he said.
I held on to him until he released my arms and swung off the bike.
“I’m going to run home and shower and change. I’ll be back in an hour to pick you up.”
“Okay,” I said, walking up the steps to my apartment and turning around at the door to wave back at him. He was watching me and only after I went inside did I hear the bike start up and drive away.
Roxie was sitting on the couch, reading a gossip magazine. “Hey,” I called on my way into the kitchen for a cold bottle of water.
“Did you know that Kim Kardashian got bangs?” she asked.
“No, but my life is complete now that I do.”
She laughed as I joined her in the living room, dropping down on the other end of the sofa and propping up my feet.
“He’s coming back. We have a date.”
“I thought he had to work.”
“He traded shifts and now he’s off too.”
She grinned. “He’s got it bad.”
I laughed. “I hope so,” I confided.
“He’s a good guy. I’m happy for you.”
“Hey, have you had any trouble with Craig?”
“He’s tried to call a couple times, but I’ve been ignoring the calls and deleting the messages.”
That reminded me of my waterlogged phone and the message I didn’t get to listen to. “Stay strong. He’ll give up eventually when he realizes you aren’t going to put up with him anymore.”
“Hopefully sooner rather than later,” she said, looking back down at her magazine. “Ooh, look, Ian Somerhalder got a new puppy!”
I laughed. “I have to take a shower. He’s going to be here soon.” I dug around in my bag and pulled out my car keys. “Here, you can just take my car to work. I’m not going to need it anyway. That way you won’t have to ask anyone for a ride home.”
“Really?” Roxie said, reaching out to take the keys.
“I’m so glad we met.”
“Me too.” I agreed, meaning it. I had a feeling that Roxie and I were going to be really good friends.
True to his word, an hour later he rang the bell at the door. I ran to open it, butterflies fluttering around inside me as I went.
He held a glass jar with a bow around it. “Brought you something,” he said, grinning.
“A jar of rice?” I said, spying the long white grains inside.
“Not just any jar of rice, but the rice that will save your phone.”
“Super hero rice?” I said, taking the jar. “Now that’s a gift.”
“I thought it was better than flowers,” he said, shutting the door and following me into the kitchen where I set my present. “Well, that and flowers would have just been a bunch of stems after the trip on my bike.”
“You brought your bike?” I said, excited.
“Of course. Any excuse to get those arms around me…” He reached for me, giving me a long, slow kiss.
“Thanks for my present,” I said when he pulled away. My voice was breathless and my heart raced.
“Hopefully tomorrow your phone’ll be working.”
“I hope so too.” I started to turn away to grab my stuff. “Let me get my bag and we can go.”
“You don’t need it.”
“But it has my money and my—” I protested, but he cut me off.
“You don’t need any money. Tonight is on me.”
No phone. No purse. No cash. Nothing but Cam and me for the night? That was a plan I could fully get behind. “Thank you,” I said as he took my hand and towed me toward the apartment door.