Tia squinted her eyes at me, analyzing my offer. “You for real right now?”
“As real as it gets.”
I watched in utter amazement as Tia smiled, really smiled. Her eyes glimmered with unspoken delight, her cheeks dusted a light, warm pink.
“Alright,” she said softly. “Sounds like a deal. But I want that in writing.”
I threw my head back and laughed. “You’re such a lawyer.”
I may or may not have had a little too much to drink. Okay, that was a lie. I definitely had a little too much to drink. My head was spinning, a wonderful warmth spread in my chest and across my face. I sincerely hoped I didn’t look as much of an idiot as I felt. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed his company, especially our little back and forth. He had been assertive, but not domineering. I liked that in a man. I liked a guy who could stand up against my arguments and could hold his own in the face of resistance. Alex had his arm around my waist, keeping me steady, as he guided me back toward our apartment. This close, I could smell his earthy cologne and feel the warmth of his body radiating onto my skin.
He was sweet. Sweeter than I thought. Sure, he wasn’t exactly subtle about his attraction towards me. And yes, I told him I wasn’t interested. But as I leaned against his shoulder for balance, I could see his sharp jaw line, and the light dusting of freckles across the bridge of his nose. I wondered briefly about the possibility of us being a thing. If he tried to kiss me tonight, I may very well let him.
“Man, breakfast first thing and then you treat me to dinner,” I joked. My nose feels stupidly warm. Was that normal? Was the smell of wine on my breath as bad as I thought it was? “Two dates in one day,” I slurred. “You’re a real keeper.”
Alex chuckled, low and oh so sexy. His voice vibrated in my chest, shook me to my very core. I wondered what he sounded like moaning in my ear. I could definitely get him to moan, to call my name, to want so much more. I wanted him to pin me against the elevator wall, to press hard, lustful kisses into my neck. I bet he was a good kisser. He’d be firm enough to let me know how badly he wanted me, but soft enough to keep me yearning for more.
“Let’s get you to bed,” he replied instead.
We made it back to the apartment, the gentle glow of the city lights below flooding in through the massive windows. Alex continued to guide me down the hall, opening the door for me to allow me to slip inside. I leaned against the door frame, lifting my chin up to meet his fond gaze. Our faces were mere inches away; I could feel his warm breath on my lips. It should have been illegal for a man to smell as delicious as Alex did. We stood there for a moment, a tense quiet settling on our shoulders. His eyes were on my lips, attentive and yearning. Was he going to make the first move? Or should I be the one to kiss him? Was this finally going to happen or what?
“Goodnight, Tia,” he said softly. He then turned on his heel and made his way back down the hall, disappearing into his room without another word.
And I was so, so confused.
I entered my room, leaning against the back of my bedroom door as I shut it closed. I tilted my head back, feeling the cold surface of the wood against the back of my scalp. My heart was in my throat, and there was a terrifying warmth between my legs. I was riled up –and he was completely at fault for it. My head swelled with a combination of embarrassment and the tiniest inkling of rage. Why didn’t he kiss me? He was so obviously interested in me before. We had been having such a great time. Did I say something wrong? Did I turn him off somehow?
I shuffled to my bed, flopping face-first into my pillow. The bed creaked under my weight, a good indication that the springs worked just fine. I breathed deeply, closed my eyes as I tried to numb my thoughts into silence. It occurred to me, then and there, just how lonely it was in this big bed all by myself. The duvet Alex bought me was cold, unblessed with body warmth. I sighed in frustration, hot and bothered and thoroughly peeved that Alex didn’t take his chance. Because yes, I was definitely a little tipsy, but I knew now that I definitely would have kissed him back. I slipped under the covers, not even bothering to get back out of bed to brush my teeth or change into my pajamas. This was turning out to be an extremely exhausting day.