Nathaniel sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Hey, beautiful.“, he kissed the top of her head.
“Nate, what time is it?“, his grandma yawned as she fluttered her eyes open, squinting against the light in the room.
“It’s eight in the evening. You’ve been out for over three hours now.“, he murmured, taking her small hand in his.
“How do you feel?“, he asked again, his eyes searching her face.
She looked pale, her skin like paper.
She gave him a soft smile, her lips quirking up in the way they always had whenever Nathaniel joked around.
“I’m fine, honey. I should be asking you that question.“, she said, taking hold of his hand.
Nathaniel felt the jerk in the region of his heart when he thought of Zara.
“What are yout talking about? I’m fine.“, he lied easily, fluffing out the pillow behind her back.
She rolled her eyes at him and he almost laughed.
“Do you think I’m old and foolish?“, she scolded, narrowing her eyes at him.
“No, I think you’re young and sexy and the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. I’m proud to be your grandson.“, he placed a kiss on her cheek, grinning at her when she blushed.
“Oh stop it.“, she swatted his arm. “You know exactly what I’m talking about.”
“Who is she?”
Nathaniel pinched his lips shut.
“Who is who?”
His grandmother glared at him and pulled her hand away from his grip.
“Nathaniel Thorn, if you begin to lie to me I swear I won’t think twice before I spank you on the butt and-“, she raised her voice, the beeping of the monitor beside her bed increasing instantly.
“Okay! Her name is Zara!”
She smiled in triumph.
He glared back at her.
“You’re cunning and a manipulator.“, he huffed as he stood up and brought her a glass of water.
“Thank you, darling.“,she gave him a sweet smile.
Nathaniel couldn’t help laughing at the silliness.
“So what’s the problem?“, she asked as soon as he had taken his seat again.
He didn’t answer.
“Does it have to do anything with Danielle?”
Nathaniel’s eyes instantly shot toward the door.
He ran his fingers through his hair, messing it up.
“I don’t know, maybe.”
“Don’t give me that shit, Nate.“, she said, pointing a finger at him.
“You know what’s wrong. I can tell. Why are you not fixing it?“, she asked seriously.
Nathaniel looked at her.
Why was he not fixing it?
“What if I don’t know how to fix it?”
His grandmother gave him an incredulous look.
“Did you break her heart?”
He froze, his heart clenching.
He saw Zara’s grey eyes, the hint of tears in them.
“Yes, I think I did.”
His grandmother was silent.
Nathaniel continued, “She’s with Finn now and she told me she didn’t want to have anything to do with me.”
“And what do you want?“, she asked him softly, her palm covering his.
Nathaniel tried to calm the rapid beating of his heart when he remembered what it had felt like to have Zara in his arms, smiling and looking up at him like he was the best thing ever.
The trust in her grey eyes.
The feel of her lips against his.
The way her body fit his perfectly.
“I want her back.“, his voice cracked.
She squeezed his hand.
“Do you love her?”
He thought about the sleepless nights. The urge to go back to her apartment and throw himself at her feet, begging her for her forgiveness. The ache in his chest whenever he thought about her with Finn. The rage and anxiety that had been eating him alive for the past whole week.
He closed his eyes.
“I think I do.”
Zara marvelled at the lightness in her heart as they made their way up the stairs to her apartment.
The movie had been enjoyable and they had had a great time.
After dinner at a small lovely restaurant that Susan had chosen, the four of them had walked the short way back home.
Susan and Matt had taken a detour since Susan had insisted on having ice-cream.
Zara and Finn had decided to go ahead and wait for them.
“I had a great time.“, Finn said softly, smiling at her as they rounded the curve of the stairs.
Zara returned it, “Me too.”
He gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
“We should do it again sometime. The four of us I mean.”
Zara nodded, stifling a yawn.
They walked down the hallway to her apartment.
Finn had held her hand all through the way back and she was enjoying every minute of it.
When they reached the door, he stopped, turning her and drawing her into his arms.
Zara smiled, masking the erratic beating of her heart.
Placing her hands on his shoulders, she leaned into him, feeling flush with all the attention that he lavished on her.
“So I’ll see you tomorrow?“, he said softly, grasping a lock of her thick black hair in his fingers.
Zara rested her head on his chest.
Finn chuckled, the vibration in his chest making her look up at him.
He smelled like good cologne and aftershave.
Zara took a deep breath.
“Aren’t you coming in?“, she asked, leaning back.
A slight tremor ran theough her body when she felt his hands on her waist travel up till they held her sides.
“If I do, then I wouldn’t want to leave.“, he said softly, pressing his lips to her temple.
Zara’s heart stuttered.
“And I have to be there at work tomorrow.“, he said in a resigned tone.
Finn stared at her for a second before he lifted his hand and brought it to her cheek.
Running his fingers over her skin, he gave her a gentle smile.
Zara could have sworn her heart stopped.
Her voice was breathy when she answered, “Yeah?”
His gaze dropped to her lips.
“Do you have any idea how lucky I consider myself to have met you?“, he said in a whisper, his voice fervent.
Zara was stunned into silence.
Finn cupped her cheek, swiping his thumb over her cheekbone.
Her pulse went into over drive.
“N-no.“, she stammered, struggling to keep her eyes focused on his lips and failing.
She heard him take in a sharp breath.
“Then let me show you.“, he said.
Zara saw him lean down and she closed her eyes.
Then she felt his lips on hers.