A week after Jack and I had dinner at this fantastic Italian restaurant and truly the best dessert in the world, I’m in the middle of my shift at the hospital. It’s my second week on the maternity ward, and I’m glad I decided to get a transfer. We’ve agreed on a schedule which only includes day shifts and eight-hour-shifts at that. No more working twelve hours or nights. That means I work five days a week instead of three or four, but at least for the duration of the pregnancy, I don’t care.
I see a lot more of Rob as well which is a little bonus. I don’t want to say a huge bonus because it does have its downsides. Because, for some reason, I was still reluctant to tell him about Jack. But again, Rob sensed that something was up. So today, I decided to grab us some lunch and meet him at our favorite spot on the hospital’s roof terrace at noon.
When I step out of the used hospital air into the fresh spring air of May, I inhale deeply and turn my head toward the unclouded sun. With closed eyes, I enjoy the warmth on my face and sigh happily.
“Stop blocking the doorway, you whale,” a male voice tears me out of my little moment of peace.
I turn around with a gasp and punch a laughing Rob in the chest, and not playfully this time. “What the fuck?” I stare at him open-mouthed while he still laughs but rubs the spot where I hopefully hurt him a little bit.
“Hey, sorry, sorry!” He holds up his free hand in surrender. “But you’re always going on about how you’ve already gotten so big – which is bullshit.” He gives me a challenging stare as if to dare me to contradict him.
But I wave him off. “Yeah, whatever. Come on. I’m starving.”
He chuckles as he follows me to the chairs where we sit down to unwrap our sandwiches.
After a moment of silently enjoying our food, Rob turns to me. “So, sixteen weeks already, huh?”
I roll my eyes but laugh. “Are you gonna give me your weekly pregnancy pep talk? Don’t get me wrong,” I add when he narrows his eyes at me as if he felt offended, “I prefer yours over my mom’s about my poor life choices any day. So go ahead.” I gesture for him to continue.
He chuckles and shakes his head. “You’re almost halfway through. Have you felt the baby moving around yet?”
I shrug, and automatically, my hand wanders to my belly. “I don’t think so. I know that they say it feels like a tiny flutter or muscles twitching and all that. So I guess if I’m not sure, that means no.”
“It’s probably not gonna be much longer until you do because the baby’s already the size of an avocado,” Rob explains.
“Stop giving me food analogies,” I complain with a glare directed at him. “I don’t want to know that my baby is the size of an avocado when I’m eating one.” I point to my sandwich.
Rob suppresses a laugh and snorts in the process. ”Aw, I’m sorry. No more food references, I promise. So, how are you feeling?”
I let out a long breath of air. I’m feeling pretty good, but there’s one thing that’s bugging me. “Good, I guess,” I respond. “It’s just–”
“Ugh, this is embarrassing,” I say with a groan.
Rob laughs. “Embarrassing? Come on, you can tell me.”
I grimace. And even though there’s no one outside with us at the moment, I lean closer to him to whisper in his ear, “I’m freaking horny, like, all of the time. Is that normal?”
Rob leans back to give me a surprised look. But then a subtle smile appears on his face, and he chuckles. “Yeah, that happens quite a lot. Especially in the second trimester, which you are in.”
Again, I glare at him because I have no idea why he’s still chuckling. “Rob, I’m serious, this is no laughing matter. I’m desperate!”
“Oh, Em. I’m sorry.” At least his face takes on a more serious expression now. “What’s probably even worse, sex during that time is usually amazing due to increased blood flow to your... you know.” He points to my nether regions.
Dammit, that does make it worse. Knowing I’m missing out makes this even more despairing. I sigh, which sounds a little more like a whimpering sound, and look at my friend intently.
“Emma!” Rob laughs. “Stop looking at me like that. I’m not gonna fuck you.”
I rest my chin on my hand and keep staring at him. “That’s too bad. But I figured that you’re not the ’friends with benefits′ kind of guy.” I laugh and give him a little shove when he rolls his eyes at me. “But can we change the subject now? This is frustrating.”
And also, talking about sex brings me back to the reason I wanted to talk to Rob in the first place. I take a deep breath before I say, “I need to tell you something.”
Rob chuckles and gives me an amused smile. “Ah, finally. I knew something was up. So spill!”
I don’t even pretend to be surprised. “Yeah, well – I met someone.”
Rob just nods slightly and gestures for me to go on.
“His name is Jack,” I tell him and wait for him to realize who I’m talking about. They’ve already met, after all.
Rob furrows his brows and taps his chin with his finger. Then he looks at me with wide eyes. “Is that the engineer guy that got the electric shock?” he asks.
I nod. “That’s him. We have a mutual friend, so we ran into each other again and again. And we sort of became friends.”
“Sort of?” He narrows his eyes at me and gives me a questioning look.
I nervously shift in my seat. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for me to talk to my best friend about Jack. “Yeah. Well, we agreed to be friends and nothing more for the time being.”
Rob nods sympathetically. “But you want more?”
I sigh heavily. “Yes.”
“Hm,” is all he says for a few moments. He takes another bite from his sandwich and looks at me once he can speak again. “Does he know you’re pregnant?”
“Yes,” I answer. “I told him, and he offered me his support. He introduced me to his sister, Liv, who I’ve met a couple of times now as well. She’s pregnant too and already has a kid.”
“That’s nice of him,” he says with sincerity in his voice. “And don’t look at me like that. I mean it.”
He’s right. I am surprised that he just said that. “What do I do now? There is this guy that I like who offers me friendship and nothing more, but every time I see him, all I want is to rip our clothes off and have him bend me over the nearest table.”
Rob bursts out laughing. “Oh, Em, you’re hopeless!”
As our conversation carries on and I tell him more about Jack and my feelings for him and how he even managed to cheer me up after the last talk with my mom, hopeless is how I feel indeed.
A few days later, I stand in front of my wardrobe and try to decide on what to wear tonight. It’s Friday, and as I don’t have to work, Jack convinced me to come to O’Reilly’s to watch them play. When I check the time, I groan. Again, I’m not going to be ready when he comes to pick me up. He’ll be here any minute now.
With another frustrated groan, I grab the maternity pants I bought this week when I went shopping with Liv. All my regular pants are slowly but surely getting too tight around my belly. And once I pulled up the pants and pulled down the tank top over my belly, there, sure enough, is a knock on my door. Yeah, great. I will have to tell Jack, once again, that he has to wait for me. At least he should be used to it by now.
Without even thinking about putting on the blouse that I was going to wear over the tank top, I walk over to the door and let Jack in. I greet him with a smile. “Hey, Jack. Come in. I’m so sorry. I’m not ready yet.” Without waiting for him, I walk into the kitchen to get him his usual glass of water.
It takes me a moment or two to realize that he hasn’t said a single word yet. I turn to look at him and there he is, standing in the doorway, leaning against the frame, his hands buried in the pockets of his jeans. Because he looks so freaking handsome in those very nicely fitting pants and the tight black t-shirt that just as nicely shows off his toned upper body, I almost miss the weird look on his face. I narrow my eyes at him. “Are you all right?” I ask as I grab the glass of water, walk over, and hold it out to him.
Still no words leave his mouth when he accepts the glass without breaking eye-contact.
“Jack?” I try again.
Finally, he clears his throat and pushes himself off the doorjamb. “Yeah, sorry, I’m fine. Hey, Peach.”
When he calls me that and gives me a sweet smile on top of it, a delicate shiver runs down my spine, and a pleasant tingling starts in the pit of my stomach, gradually spreading through my whole body. Fuck, this guy is going to be the death of me. The longing to finally touch him gets worse every time I see him.
I hope my smile doesn’t give away my inner turmoil. “Again, I’m sorry for making you wait.”
“Don’t worry about it,” is all he says as he takes a sip of the water before he walks past me to put the glass on the kitchen table.
The suddenly awkward tension between us makes me frown. “Jack, are you sure you’re okay?” I ask. “You seem weird.”
He squeezes his eyes shut and shakes his head. “I’m sorry. It’s just – that’s a really revealing top you’re wearing.”
I look down at myself and try not to gasp. He’s right. Not only is this tank top really tight, but it also shows off my cleavage pretty nicely. And I have no idea why my hands suddenly grab my breasts. Am I trying to hide anything? Or am I just plain stupid? Because that move makes Jack groan. A groan that comes from deep within his throat, and a groan that I can feel in every cell in my body. “Fuck, Emma, are you trying to kill me?”
Now I can’t help but laugh. Out loud. Really loud. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” I turn away from him, and this time I cover my face with my hands. And once I got a grip on myself, I take a deep breath and turn back to him.
Jack still stands there, arms crossed in front of his chest, watching me with narrow eyes. “Are you done?”
If there weren’t a hint of a smirk on his face, I’d think he’s mad at me. I bite my lips and nod. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know I had that effect on you.”
Jack snorts and rolls his eyes. “How does that surprise you? I’m a guy, and those are some very nice boobs.”
I furrow my brows. “Are they?” I look down at my breasts and cup them with my hands again, squeezing them a little. And I have to try hard to stifle the loud laugh that wants to escape my mouth when I hear Jack groan in frustration.
“Oh my goodness!” he grunts and turns around. “I’m outta here.” And he indeed starts walking towards the door.
I run after him and grab his arm. “Jack, wait! Don’t go. I’m sorry, and I will stop now!”
Jack turns to me, and the look on his face tells me he didn’t actually intend to leave. His subtle smile turns into a smirk.
“For the last time, I’m sorry,” I say. “I thought I could mess with you a little. Because I thought you were my friend, and that’s what friends do.”
Only now do I realize I’m still holding onto his arm. Jack’s gaze falls to where my hand slowly strokes over his bare forearm down to his hand that he lifts up to entwine our fingers.
“I am your friend,” he says in a barely audible whisper as he looks up into my eyes.
And suddenly, a whole new tension fills the air between us. Again, I’m feeling things that become harder and harder to bear, and it’s never been harder than right now, with him giving me a look of pure desire, a look that should match mine.
The abrupt change of mood from playfully teasing to lasciviously staring makes me dizzy. I take in a slow deep breath before I ask, “Can you be more?”
I don’t like the frown that forms on his forehead when he answers, “I don’t know.”
And just when I think that’s it, he’s going to let go now and take a step back, he does the opposite. He leans in, closer and closer, until I can feel his warm breath on my lips.
My heart is about to explode in my chest, frantically trying to get some much-needed oxygen to my dysfunctioning brain because I stopped breathing altogether. My eyes close and my other senses kick in, starting with his spicy scent that fills my nose, followed by the soft sigh I hear that escapes his lips just before he gently presses them on mine. I feel his one hand still holding mine, squeezing it a little harder now, and his other cup my face. I shiver as he gently brushes his fingertips over my cheek.
And before I know it, he deepens the kiss. As soon as his tongue finds mine, they melt together, just like my body melts into his.
I fist his shirt, pulling him even closer to me. When our bodies touch in every possible place, it feels like we’re wrapped up in our own little bubble. All that matters now is him and me, his lips on mine, kissing me like no man before him.
Just when I think I could go on kissing him like this forever, he suddenly pulls back. All the way, breaking any body contact that we had. His chest is heaving with deep, slow breaths and his face is twisted with unease and desperation.
And before either of us can say anything, that little bubble we were in is burst completely by a loud knock on my door.