“Do you want to get dinner?” he asked, glancing away from the road to catch her eye.
His hand was resting on the center console between them, his long fingers idly caressing the rim of the cup holders. Leaning one elbow on the edge of the console and reaching across, she touched the top of his hand, pressing lightly as she stroked her fingertips between his knuckles.
“I don’t think it’s dinner I’m hungry for just yet,” she said quietly, the corners of her lips slightly upturned.
When he whispered OK, it was barely audible as he focused on his driving. He touched her hand before withdrawing his from the console to steer the wheel of his SUV in the direction of her apartment. Driving in silence, his mind was churning over the time since they’d met at work: her surprising friendliness and warm smiles, and the way she gazed at him when standing next to him or put her hand over his forearm when sitting next to him and talking to him. After passing her numerous times on the same route as she cycled in to work, he had suggested carpooling. She’d said she didn’t mind riding her bicycle but accepted his offer without much fuss. Congenial conversation led to dinners together and social invitations that began to feel as routine as their daily workflow. He’d felt an increasing attraction to her, but he’d been afraid of misreading her, and it worried him just to touch her back lightly at work when leaning down to look at her computer screen. They hadn’t even kissed yet, though she’d given him plenty of opportunities. But he had no doubt in his mind tonight about what exactly she was craving.
Wordlessly, they removed their shoes as they stepped inside her apartment foyer. Her keys clinked as she dropped them inside the large glass bowl on the hallway table. Normally, he tucked his own keys in his pockets, but tonight he placed them on top of hers in the bowl. Their reflections moved and contrasted in the wall mirror: her pale face crowned in lengthy waves of strawberry blonde next to his lightly tanned tones and short, dark brown hair with bangs that kept falling over his forehead.
She was walking toward her living room when he stopped her with an arm around her waist. Gently, he pulled her up against his chest, surprised by his own desire for her. He could feel his arousal rising as his pulse quickened. Her hands slid across his chest, underneath his dark, navy blazer, and over his shoulders, but her eyes wouldn’t meet his.
Just slightly taller than her petite stature, he bent his head closer to hers, brushing his lips tentatively against her cheek. He exhaled warm, silent sighs on to her skin as he edged firmer kisses closer to her mouth. Her back stretched out along the palms of his hands with each expansion of her lungs as she inhaled deeply, and he squeezed her tighter. She pulled her hands down his chest and circled her arms around his waist, hugging him. Cupping her chin with one hand, he lifted her face up to his. Her eyes were closed but her lips were parted in anticipation of his kisses. Covering her upper lip with his mouth and tugging gently, he moved his hand from her chin to her neck, reaching his fingers around to the base of her head. He kissed her lower lip before closing his mouth over hers, tasting the sweetness of her tongue with his.
Sighing again when he finally pulled away from the lingering kiss, he rested his forehead on hers. He felt her own silent sigh in response, her hands gripping his backsides just a little tighter. Moving his hands along her back, he rubbed her slowly between her shoulder blades. His mind played a rewind of the evenings he’d spent with her: after work alfresco dinners just blocks from the beach, the breeze teasing the curls in her hair as she smiled at him with that longing gaze in her eyes, and staying well past his bedtime with endless conversation when she invited him inside her apartment after he walked her to the door; the way she’d lean against the doorjamb when he made to leave, the corners of her lips upturned, her face tilted toward his, waiting in silence as he stared down at her for a move he never made.
“I’ve wanted to do that for so long,” he said in his soft voice.
“I’m glad you did now,” she told him, kissing his cheek.
He leaned his head back to look at her, pressing his pelvis into hers, and she slipped her hand underneath his tie, sliding it between her fingers as she pulled her hand down its length. When she reached the end of it, she gripped the sides of his blue striped shirt and tugged it out of his trousers. She lifted the hem and touched his bare stomach, dragging her nails lightly on his skin as her hands roamed across his torso around to his backside. Her touch was lighting little fires inside him, he could barely wait for her to soothe his ache.
Still, he asked her in a whisper, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
Her hands went back to his tie, a finger coaxing the knot loose, and the corners of her lips curled upwards. “I wouldn’t have suggested it if I weren’t,” she whispered back. A moment passed and she seemed to have a thought, asking, “What about you? Do you want me to stop?”
His voice was huskier as he told her, “No, I don’t want you to stop.” He kissed her, pushing her gently with his body as he walked her backwards in the direction of her bedroom. He’d been in there once before when he was first invited inside her apartment and she’d showed it to him. The sight of her bed with the sheer curtains hanging at the end and on each side in an open, makeshift canopy, pulled aside just enough to see the plush white comforter and the tiny incandescent string lights through the decorative carvings in her tall headboard had aroused him so much that he was glad they didn’t linger in her room too long. The scent of her perfume had been enticing as he’d stood behind her in the doorway, leaning against the frame with his hands in his pockets to keep them from touching her. The memory of it made him kiss her again, tilting his head toward her neck; he could faintly smell the floral fragrance that had faded over the course of the workday but was still strong enough to rouse him.