Authors: Jayna Concepcion
“Where are the oven mitts in this place, I have to get the bread out of the oven.”
“They’re around here somewhere, let me look . . .”
Oh men, they never seemed to know where anything was when you needed it. Ariel grabbed a kitchen towel from the drawer folding it a few times and used it to grab the sheet pan from the oven.
“That smells so good, I can’t wait to eat.”
“Your home a little bit earlier than I expected, its not even 11:15 yet.”
“Well I sped up the process a bit, it’s not every night I have a woman in my kitchen making me a homemade meal.”
It could be every night, Ariel caught herself thinking. She knew this was all so qu
ick, but, being here with John felt so good, it felt right. She could see herself in this house taking care of this man and having many more dinners at his small kitchen table. She had better keep all of those domestic intentions to herself or she would scare him off for good. I cannot be falling for this guy, I cannot be falling for this guy, but what if I am?
“So is it ready?” John asked reaching for a slice of the hot French loaf from the oven.
Ariel swatted his hand away with the dish towel.
“Go get changed or get comfortable or whatever you do when you get home and let me get a plate ready for you. What would you like to drink?”
“Just a beer please, and we can eat in the living room if you want to start the first movie now.”
“Ok, I’ll bring your plate in there.”
John walked out of the kitchen and she heard his boots clomping down the hallway as he walked to his room.
Adding the final touches to the pasta Ariel placed a large pile on each plate and grated some fresh parmesan cheese on top along with a generous slice of bread. Grabbing a beer and fork she brought John’s food out to him. John was sitting in his blue leather recliner with his feet up. He had the TV on but looked up as she approached him.
“You look really pretty tonight.”
Taking his plate and looking at the p
erfectly spun pile of pasta John looked up at Ariel.
“This looks amazing, if it tastes half as good as it looks and smells I just might have to marry you.” John laughed and Ariel joined in, but that familiar tension was back in the room. Turning Ariel went back to the kitchen to get her own plate and glass of water.
“That skirt has a slit in the back too, huh.”
riel returned and smiled at John.
“I really like that skirt. I think this is the first time I’ve seen you in a skirt, but I really like it.”
“With slits like that in the front and back though, it just makes me think about what’s under that skirt, your long legs are well hidden.”
Blushing a little Ariel didn’t re
spond to his last comment. John cleared his throat and it seemed that this was an indicator that he was willing to spare her and change the subject.
“So, should I put the movie in?”
“I got two, you didn’t say what you wanted to see or give any hint to what movies you like, or don’t like, so I picked a comedy and a horror movie. Plus since I was already going to be spending the night I thought maybe we’d have time to watch two?”
“Sure, let’s start with the comedy, after the day I’ve had that’ll help me lighten up a little.”
Ariel wanted to ask about his day but didn’t feel like it was her place to ask him to share too much personal info at this point. This was the first real date that th
ey were having after all. John got up and placed the first movie into the DVD player. Bruno lay at Ariel’s feet and Mallard was already snoring away at John’s. Ariel sat on the couch on the end furthest away from John. She wondered why he hadn’t sat by her. Maybe he was really trying to keep this physical distance thing between them going as much as he could.
The movie started and they both cleared their plates. John had a huge second helping of dinner and by the end of the movie they were both laughing hysterically at the predicament of the main character. As the credits rolled John looked over to Ariel.
“So are you up for that second movie still.”
“I’m game if you are.”
“Sounds good to me, it’s nice to have someone around who works hours like mine. Most people expect me to come home right at midnight and go right to bed, but I want to be up and relax a bit before going to bed.”
“Yeah, I like that too, working the odd hours I do it’s hard to have a social life. While you put in the 2
movie I’m going to go change so I’m ready to go to bed as soon as the movie gets over.”
John nodded and Ariel grabbed her overnight bag heading into the hallway bathroom. She decided to leave on her push up bra, even though it was visible through the white t, it would be worse without it, she decided. She rolled up the waist band on t
he shorts a few times to show off her legs. Ariel wouldn’t ever be accused of being too skinny or anything, but she wasn’t fat. She was curvy and had breasts, hips and a nice rounded rump. Unlike many of her female counterparts she liked her curves, even though she was very shy about showing them off. Being as John had enjoyed the skirt so much she had a feeling that this little outfit would be an even bigger hit. Returning to the living room she noticed that the lamps in the living room had been turned off and John was sitting on the other end of the couch with his feet up on the coffee table. He turned to look at Ariel as she came into the living room and grabbed a blanket from the back of the couch. Now she was faced with two choices, either return to her previous seat on the other end of the couch or go and sit near John. She felt like going to sit next to him would be a bit obvious, but she had just cooked him dinner and was planning on sleeping at his house anyhow. She went with her heart and walked over to him sitting down right next to him. John had watched her approach him and she wasn’t sure what he was thinking. He had definitely taken the time to stare at her legs and when she leaned over to grab the blanket his eyes were for sure on her butt. He didn’t seem to mind what he saw but he wasn’t saying a word. His eyes were now glued to the TV where the previews were almost over.
Ariel was careful to leave an inch between them when she sat down. His arm was already up along the back of the couch but he made no move to re position himself so she decided she wasn’t going to worry about it. She had taken the step to sit right next to him, but the next move was on him. If he wanted to touch her or anything else he was going to have to be the initiator. Covering her legs with the blanket and propping them up next to his on the coffee table she leaned back into the couch to watch the movie. About ten minutes into it she noticed that John was spending an awful large amount of time watching her out of the corner of his eye. She pretended that she didn’t notice. When the first scary scene happened she jumped a little and John slid his arm protectively around her shoulders. While he didn’t necessarily pull her any closer to him she took that as a green light and snuggled right into his side with her head now resting on the crook of his arm. Every inch of her body that John was touching felt like it had little tiny warm sparks going off. Ariel tried to pay attention to the movie but she found herself focused on the fact that she was curled up in at least one of the arms of the most attractive and confident man she had ever met. And it would seem that he liked her too. It almost seemed too good to be true. As the movie went on John rubbed her shoulder with his hand. The feeling was just perfect. Ariel moved the arm that had been in between her body and his and rested her hand on his thigh. John seemed to flinch a little when she did that, but she was sure that she hadn’t hurt him. After a little while she followed suit and started to slowly rub his leg through his flannel pajama pants.
John’s voice was deep and husky, almost as if he was choking on his words while saying t
hem. Ariel looked up at him.
“You’re going to have to stop rubbing my leg. I don’t really want you to stop, but it’s making concentrating on this movie really difficult for me if you know what I mean.”
Smiling up at him Ariel said, “I know exactly what
She did stop rubbing him but she didn’t move her hand.
As the movie drew to a close and the credits started to roll on the screen neither of them made a move to get off of the couch. Finally after the screen went dark John reached for the remote.
“I have no idea what that movie was about.”
“I think it had some zombies in it at one point.”
“Are you sure?”
They both laughed and John sat beside her and clicked the TV off. Now they were sitting in the dark together. Still no one was m
oving to get up. The sexual tension in the room was palpable at this point and Ariel felt like at any moment it was just going to explode. At least she hoped it would.
“So I guess I should show you where the guest room is and turn down the covers for you.”
“If you want to.”
“What do you mean, if I want to? It’s early in the morning; I would rather you not drive home this late.”
“That’s not what meant John. I do want to stay here, I just meant, well, we’re both adults, we could stay in the same bed together and not necessarily do anything, right?”
“Hmm when I invited you over here and asked you to spend the night, sleeping together isn’t what I had planned. I don’t think it would be a good idea.”
Ariel pulled herself away from him making some space. It
seemed like he didn’t even want to be in the same room as her.
“Ok.” Ariel stood up in the dark and felt John move beside her, probably reaching for the lamp. She headed down the hallway the nightlight from the hall bath guiding her way until she came to the door across from John’s. Opening it she heard John say her name from down the hall. She ignored it and went into the room shutting the door softly behind her. She switched on the light and heard John moving around in the kitchen now and opening the back door, letting the dogs out. She had managed to forget all about Bruno in her humiliated walk down the hallway. She kept telling herself that he was just being respectful; he didn’t want to rush into anything. But was the ghost of his past fiancée going to haunt anything that could possibly be between them. She wasn’t used to this whole dating thing, but she knew that most guys wouldn’t turn down an offer from a woman twice in a row if they really were interested in something with that woman. Wishing she had just said she’d go home after the movie was over Ariel climbed into the bed and switched off the lamp. This just sucked, and her feelings were really hurt. How could he just not want her at all? It hadn’t even seemed to bother him to say no. His eyes had told her a different story all evening and he had said that his cooking could inspire him to marry her, but that was said in jest. Feeling confused and hurt Ariel squeezed her eyes shut to keep the tears from slipping out. She felt so stupid. She had gone and thrown herself at him again and he had easily and casually rejected her.
John was traveling down the hall, she heard him stumble and mutter a few choice words. She smiled to herself knowing that it was her overnight bag left forgotten in the hall that he had most likely tripped over. Well it served him right. He knocked on the door to the guest room and then whispered “Ariel” a few times. She ignored him. She heard the door knob turn and she rolled over in the bed facing away from the door and scooted the furthest from that side of the bed. She heard Bruno, he was sniffing around the room and then the familiar dip in the mattress as he climbed up beside his master.
“Ariel?” came John’s whispered inquiry.
She ignored him, he
probably knew she was awake since she had just rolled over but she didn’t feel like talking to him.
“Hey, I know you’re awake.” the whisper was a bit louder this time. Sighing she decided to see what he wanted.
“Are you ok?”
“Sure, why wouldn’t I be?”