Damnit, Tyler! Hurry up!
“Hi, Drake. What’s up?”
“I just wanted to see how you have been…you know…since we broke up?
God, he seriously has the nerve to ask me this now?
“I’m happy, Drake.” And even though part of it was a lie, I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that I hated that he moved on so quickly after we broke up.
“Really?” Drake blurted. “You’re actually happy with this guy?”
Tyler and I weren’t together, but Drake didn’t know this, and he certainly didn’t have the right to ask me about my relationship, no matter how fake it was.
“I wouldn’t be with him if I wasn’t. Why are you asking me this?
He lowered his voice to a whisper, reached around and scratched the back of his neck. “I’ve missed you. Seeing you here tonight…looking so…” Drake paused for a moment before he stepped closer to me. “So beautiful.”
I instinctively took a step back and furrowed my brows. “What do you think you’re doing Drake?”
“It’s hard seeing you with him. You never used to laugh like that with me.”
“Well, you’re not as funny as he is. Look. If you have a problem me being here, Tyler and I can leave.”
“I don’t want you to leave.”
“Great. Maybe it’s time you head back inside to your fiancé.”
Ugh. Krystal. Why the hell does she look so familiar?
“You’ve changed, Summer.”
“Yeah, a lot can change in a year. You should know that.”
"Not as much as you."
“I’m sorry. Which one of us is getting married after only one year? You must have really hated me to get over us that quick, or just never really loved me to begin with.” Drake was igniting all the dark emotions in me. My jaw clenched and my fists rolled into a ball so tight that the blood drained from the knuckles. He was wrong, I knew he was wrong, but I hated that he got to me so easily.
“Summer,” Drake whispered, before he took another step closer towards me.
“Hey, baby. Everything okay?” Tyler interjected, and all of the sudden my fists unclenched and my lips curved into a smile. There was something about his voice that made my knees almost crumble.
I shifted my attention to my fake boyfriend, whom I’d never been more grateful to see him than at that point. “All good. Ready to go back in?”
Tyler and I both ignored Drake, and strolled back into the venue.
He reached for my trembling hand and gave it a squeeze, igniting another smile to appear on my lips.
“Guess I broke the rule about leaving you along with him tonight.”
“Not your fault. He came out to talk to me after you left.”
“What did he want?”
“I think you might have been right about residual feelings. From him of course.”
“I knew it!” Tyler shouted. “What the hell did he say to you?”
“He asked me if I was okay. I told him I was happy. He said I never used to laugh like that with him.”
“What an ass. What did you say to him?”
“I told him that he wasn’t as funny as you are,” I beamed.
Tyler squeezed my hand. For a brief moment with our eyes locked in place, I could have sworn I saw his eyes light up. “You said that?”
“Well, it’s true. My stomach is still sore from laughing so damn hard.”
Tyler and I both chuckled. He led me back to our table where we sat down and talked while we waited for our dinner to be served. “Did you manage to go to the bathroom without getting swarmed by vultures?”
“Ha! Funny you should say that.”
I widened my eyes and rubbed my hands together, causing Tyler to laugh at me.
“Have I won the bet?”
“Not a chance.”
“You got swarmed though, right?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Two girls. I said no to the both of course.”
“I knew it,” I chuckled, and took a small sip of my tall glass of water.
“Don’t laugh. You might not realize it, but I’ve seen at least ten guys here checking you out.”
“Really? Were they hot at least?? I joked.
Tyler licked his lips before he leaned in and whispered. “It doesn’t matter. They can’t make you blush like I can." The heat from his mouth tickled against my neck and I closed my eyes for a moment before the heat rushed to my cheeks.
“Case in point.”
When my eyes opened up, I shifted my attention to Tyler. He held my gaze, and it was so powerful, that I swear we could have burnt this place to the ground.
Our intense moment was interrupted when Alex, Drake and Krystal sat back down on the table. A waitress brought around alternating dishes of Chicken, Fish and Steak.
“The food here is so good, Tyler.” I cut through the tender steak with only a butter knife before I brought the mouth-watering piece to my lips. “So, so good.”
“God, I love watching you eat,” Tyler smirked, before he leaned over and whispered into my ear. “Seems as though I’m the only one that can’t stop looking at you. Drake hasn’t been able to keep his eyes away.”
I dipped my voice low to match his. “I know. It’s making me a little uncomfortable.”
The moment we finished our meals, Tyler turned to me and placed his hand gently over my leg. “Want to dance?"
“You can dance?”
“Yes, of course I can dance. You seem surprised.”
“I seem impressed actually. Show me what you can do, boyfriend.”
Tyler laughed, and stood up from his chair straightening his shirt before he reached out his hand to me. I reciprocated his smile before I accepted his gesture. Tyler led me to the dance floor, and the music slowed down before one of my favorite songs played on the speaker. Say you Won’t Let Go by James Arthur.
Tyler’s hands rested against my waist for a moment, before he pulled me close to his warm body, causing my breath to hitch the moment he touched me. And even though he was grasping onto a part of me that I was self-conscious about, Tyler never once made me feel anything but beautiful.
And that was rare for me.
My arms wrapped around his neck, at the same time his hands roamed to the side of my body, before they glided back down to my curvy ass. My breath hitched, and he held them there for a moment. Tyler was acutely aware of the affect he had on me.
“Yeah…” Silence settled in the air between us, and I felt as though we were the only two people in the room. I waited with baited breath for his response.
“Ummm. Nothing. I just wanted to see how long you were planning on staying here for.”
It was clear that Tyler hesitated to say what he was really feeling.
“Oh. Um. As long as you need to.”
“I don’t really want to stay for the speeches.”
“Neither do I, but the dancing is nice.”
Tyler tugged my body closer. “Yeah, it is.” Tyler caught my gaze, and I knew at that moment he wanted to kiss me by the way his eyes moved down to my lips.
I waited, knowing that if he did find the courage, I wouldn’t push him away.
Tyler’s lips curved into a smile before he leaned in and softly pressed his lips against my cheek, holding them there for a moment before he pulled away, leaving his lingering affection on my skin.
“I think we should leave.”
I nodded, and I let out a heavy sigh. “Okay. I need to say goodbye to Alex.” Tyler lowered his head, and held his vacant stare on the dance floor. “Hey, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I think a lack of sleep is catching up to me.”
“Okay, well at least you showed your face here for your mom’s sake.”
After saying a quiet goodbye to Alex, Drake and Krystal, Tyler and I made our way back to the car together. The drive home was somber, and I spent most of the time gazing out the window trying to avoid his stares.
When we arrived at my place, Tyler parked the car in the driveway and turned off the engine. “I’ll walk you to your door.”
“That would be the gentlemanly thing to do.”
I held my dress, opened the car door and Tyler led me to the front entrance. After unzipping my bag, I rummaged through the contents to pull out my keys.
Tyler stopped me and I turned to face him. “Yeah?”
“Thank you for agreeing to come with me on this date. I know it couldn’t have been easy for you.”
“You made the night fun for me, despite the fact that we were at my ex’s engagement party.”
“Well, I’m glad you had fun, despite everything.”
“I did, though I hated the looks Drake gave me. I swear I thought he was going to grab one of the knives at dinner and stab me with it.”
Tyler chuckled. “He wasn’t angry at you; he was angry at me.”
“I don’t get why he would be.”
“There’s bound to be anger from him. He hasn’t seen you in a year, and when he finally does, you’re looking like a goddess.”
I swallowed hard, and the heat that coursed through my veins made its way up to my cheeks.
“You need to stop staring at me like that, Summer.” My cheeks continued to burn and my heart thumped in my chest, while no words could escape from my mouth. “Otherwise I’m going to do something that’s not so quite gentlemanly like.”
“Oh yeah? Like what?”
In one swift movement, Tyler leaned forward, grabbed a fistful of my hair and crashed his lips onto mine with such force, that my back slammed against the front door. My hand automatically moved up to his locks and my fingers combed through his thick tresses.
The kiss was urgent, and full of passion. No one had kissed me this way before, and I knew it because my body felt as though it would collapse beneath him. The moment his tongue touched my lips, I parted my mouth and granted him access inside, as though I were begging for it. I could taste the remnants of beer which still lingered on his lips while our tongues tangled together. The throbbing between my legs intensified as each moment passed.
Tyler’s hand moved from the back of my hair down to my waist and used his muscular strength to pull me closer.
I wanted him, and I wanted him bad. Even though he was my boss, everything felt right at that moment. When he finally pulled away, my sensitive lips swelled while my mind raced with my unsteady heart.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. What the hell was that?