Dylan woke up to the sound of his doorbell. He reached for the iPod dock that sat on his nightstand and turned it so he could see the time, groaning as he tossed the blankets back on the bed and sat up. It was just after 10 A.M. and he hadn’t realized he had totally overslept. He knew his daughter would be coming over, but he had been up until the early hours of the morning waiting for Lana’s text that she had made it home safely. While they had headed back towards the harbor, they stopped so she could get some pictures from the water of Venice Beach all lit up at night. He had tried to convince her to get a hotel in the area (he would have preferred she stayed with him, but he didn’t want to seem pushy, and he didn’t trust himself with her in the house). He didn’t like the idea of making such a long drive so late at night, but she assured him she would be fine.
He pulled on a pair of sweatpants before jogging down the stairs and opening the front door. He greeted his daughter with a hug and a kiss on the top of the head and she disappeared into the house. He waved to his Ex, Mari who was still sitting in the car in the driveway before she took off. He pushed the front door closed and ran his hand through his hair before going to find his daughter.
Dylan followed the sounds of Natalia into the kitchen and sat down at the island. He watched her open the refrigerator and stare before moving to the pantry, then going back to the fridge and digging through it. She pulled out a container of Greek yogurt and some strawberries before going to the cabinet once again and digging out the granola. She pulled out a large bowl and filled it up to the top with the items she had retrieved before sitting down next to him and spooning the mixture into her mouth. He smirked and let out a small laugh as he looked over at her.
“Doesn’t your mom feed you anymore?” He teased, and she smiled.
“Yes, but this is second breakfast,” she said with a giggle and he rolled his eyes as he rested his arm on the counter and propped his head in his hand. “Are you hung over?”
“What?” He laughed again. “No, why would you even say that?”
“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “You look like you haven’t slept in days. I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“Well, that’s sweet of you, but you don’t need to worry about me,” he ruffled her hair. “I can take care of myself, you know...”
“Mom says that every man needs a woman to take care of him. Is that true?” She questioned curiously, and he sighed.
“That’s a really complex question considering I just got out of bed and you only turned thirteen a few weeks ago. Let’s focus on other things, like what you want to do today.”
“Can we go to the beach?” She crunched on her granola.
“Sure,” he stood up and pushed the stool under the counter, “as long as you don’t try to wear that bikini you brought over last time.”
“Dad....” Natalia whined.
“Nat....” He mockingly whined back. “I’ve already told you, you’re not old enough to be wearing stuff like that.”
“Mom lets me wear it.”
“You’re not wearing it, Natalia. End of story,” he stated firmly. Natalia glared at him and he glared back at her until she finally gave in and went back to eating her yogurt.
“So, how did it go with Dylan Saturday night?” Katie pried as she and Lana sat at the table with their girlfriends during their monthly night out.
“Ooh, who’s Dylan?” Their redheaded friend Nicole chimed in with a grin.
“Wait, isn’t he that writer guy?” Their other friend Chantel gasped.
“Thanks, Katie,” Lana rolled her eyes as she grabbed her glass of Chianti off the table and took a sip.
“You mean the famous author that Mark’s friends with?” Nicole’s eyes lit up. “He looks delicious,” she licked her lips and the rest of them laughed, looking over at Lana for a response.
“He is a good kisser,” she mumbled with a shrug after a brief pause, causing everyone to roar with laughter again. “Seriously though,” she sighed as everyone started to calm down, “he seems like a good guy,” she sipped her wine again. “I told him about Nathan.”
“Oh, no... How did he take it?” Katie cringed.
“Surprisingly well, actually. He told me about his daughter and I said I was worried about all my bullshit with Nathan somehow coming back to affect her. He replied by saying he could protect his daughter, and he could also protect me,” Lana shrugged. “We didn’t really get into any more detail than that, but he made it clear that he still wanted to see where things go between the two of us.”
“You know he really likes you, right?” Katie smiled. “Mark told me that when he called to invite him down for the party, the first question he asked was if you were going to be there.”
“Mm, you better go get it, girl,” Chantel teased with a wink. “That boy is fine!” She added, causing everyone to break into laughter again.
“Yeah, and then you have to tell us all about it!” Nicole grinned as they continued to laugh.
The rest of the night seemed to fly by. The girls indulged in the restaurant’s delicious Mediterranean cuisine before heading out to one of the local clubs to grab drinks and do a little dancing. It was almost one in the morning by the time Lana got back home. She dug her phone out of her purse once she was safely locked inside of her condo and smiled when she saw that Dylan had sent her a text message.
Can’t stop thinking about you. I can’t wait to see you on Saturday at Mark’s party.
A grin spread across Lana’s face as she read the message. She was glad that she wasn’t alone in wanting to spend more time together. She thought for a moment before replying to the message. She quickly typed in the words and hit send before she could change her mind.
I heard it’s supposed to be hot. They have a nice pool. Maybe I’ll get a little wet.
She smiled to herself as she headed for the bedroom, tossing her phone on the bed before undressing and getting a hot shower. She performed her nightly routine of applying moisturizer and brushing her teeth and hair before going back to her room. She climbed into bed and grabbed Dylan’s book off the nightstand. She was about halfway through it and couldn’t wait to see how it ended. She plugged her phone in and set it on the nightstand before settling down under the covers. Her phone vibrated next to her after a few minutes of reading and she smirked as she picked it up to read the message.
I’ll make it a point to make it happen. I know you’ll make things hard for me. A few seconds later he sent a message with a winky face.
Lana felt herself flush and her body heated up as she let her thoughts consume her. She thought about him hovering over her, pinning her underneath of him as he made her his. It had been so long since she had actually been with someone she could barely remember any details. She quickly pushed the dirty thought to the side, knowing that she would toss and turn all night if she kept thinking about him. That is, unless she called upon BOB for a quick session.
“Need some help?” Lana paused as she heard the voice, turning and flashing a smile at Dylan.
“Why? You don’t think I can handle carrying in a couple cases of beer?” She joked as he made his way towards her.
“Wouldn’t want you to break a nail or anything,” he smirked as he approached her at the trunk of her car. Lana rolled her eyes. “How was your day?” He questioned softly as he slipped an arm around her waist. She looked up at him with a smile.
“Not terrible,” she paused, “but, it just got even better.”
“Agreed,” he pulled her into his arms and she slipped an arm around his back, placing her other hand on the back of his shoulder. “You sure are a sight for sore eyes after a three-hour drive,” he sighed, and she blushed with a small smile.
Dylan smiled back at her before leaning in and lightly pressing his lips to hers, letting out a soft moan. Lana relaxed into his embrace as she looked up at him through her eyelashes and bit her lip. He gently ran his thumb across her lips before tangling his hand in her hair and bringing her in for another kiss, wasting no time as he quickly deepened it. Their tongues danced together as they got caught up in the heat of the moment, the kiss leaving them both breathless.
“Are you two coming in, or are you going to have sex in our driveway?” Katie called out to them and they both pulled away with a laugh. “Do you remember how sex works, Lan? I know it’s been a while,” she added, laughing before heading back inside.
“Oh my god, I hate her,” Lana scoffed with a blush, shaking her head. Dylan laughed softly in amusement.
“I guess we should go inside. Let me help you.”
He didn’t wait for Lana’s approval of the suggestion before grabbing a case of beer out of her trunk. She grabbed the other, balancing it on the back bumper so she could shut the trunk and set the alarm. She followed Dylan inside and towards the back patio so the guys could put the beer in the coolers. She could already smell the chicken and ribs on the grill and she knew it would be a good night.
After everyone else had arrived and they finished eating, the girls wasted no time stripping down to their bikinis. Lana found an unclaimed lounge chair by the pool and kicked her flip-flops off before pulling her sun dress over her head. She felt eyes on her and looked over her shoulder to see Dylan staring. She flashed him a small smile before Katie handed her a fresh drink and the girls headed for the pool steps. Lana and Katie cooled off before climbing onto a two-person pool float, bribing Mark to refill their drinks for them a few times throughout the evening.
Once the sun went down, a few people started to taper out while the rest joined them in the pool. It didn’t take long for Mark and Dylan to tag team and decide to flip Lana and Katie, seeing as though they had been lying in the sun so peacefully for the last couple of hours. Someone pulled out a nerf ball and they tossed it around to each other for a while as they all talked and roasted Mark in honor of his birthday. Most of them continued to drink late into the night, enjoying the fact that they were able to kick back and relax for a night with their friends.
Most of the group tapered out by midnight, once they felt sober enough to drive home. While Lana wasn’t totally trashed, she knew she wasn’t in a good condition to drive and contemplated crashing in Mark and Katie’s guestroom as she had before. While Mark and Katie were bidding goodbye to the rest of the guests, Lana assumed she was alone in the pool as she floated around with her eyes closed and enjoyed the feeling of the cool water and the fresh ocean breeze. She startled with a squeal when Dylan popped out of the water right behind her and pulled her back against him.
“What the Hell?! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” She gasped as she placed her hand over her racing heart and turned to face him.
“Oh, come on, I didn’t scare you that bad,” he teased. Lana smirked and playfully hit him in the chest. “No violence. Love is the answer to all things.”
“Well, if that isn’t the writer talking, I don’t know what is.” She jumped as he tickled her sides.
“Baby, I can come up with things that will make you swoon so hard you won’t have a conscious thought for a week.”
“I guess I’ll have to stick around for a bit and see how this pans out then, huh?”
“I guess so,” he whispered, pulling her into him and lifting her legs so they wrapped around his waist.
Dylan consumed her lips in a heated kiss, moving his hands to her bottom and slipping his fingers under the edges of her bikini. He gently squeezed, and Lana thrusted her hips upwards as she laughed into the kiss. He gently nipped at her bottom lip before kissing her hungrily once again. He felt her body respond to him, the rush of heat seeping through their thin bathing suits. He moved his lips to her neck, lightly tugging on her ear which caused her to let out a soft, breathy moan. Lana felt him growing against her mound and she seriously considered letting him take her right there in the pool. They quickly pulled away from each other as Mark and Katie stepped back outside and started cleaning up the patio area.
Lana and Dylan talked for a few minutes as they forced their bodies to calm down. Lana carefully ascended the steps to the pool, tripping slightly once she was on solid ground. Luckily Dylan was right behind her and steadied her so that she didn’t end up back in the pool. She toweled off and pulled her dress back on over her suit, followed by her shoes, before offering to help clean up. She quickly bumped her shin on one of the table legs, sitting down to rub the pain away.
“Are you OK to drive?” Dylan asked her seriously.
“Probably not, but I have a standing reservation at Hotel Morales,” she shrugged.
“Why don’t you let Dylan take you home,” Katie hinted. Lana looked up at Dylan questioningly.
“I was going to offer, but Katie pimped me out before I could,” he grinned.
“Like you mind,” Katie teased. “You guys go ahead. We’ll finish up tomorrow.”
“Are you sure?” Lana and Dylan asked in unison, exchanging smiles.
“Positive,” Mark nodded.
Dylan and Lana said their goodbyes after she hunted her purse down. Lana had a slight sway to her and Dylan kept his arm securely around her as they headed for the car. He opened the door for her and helped her inside before climbing into the driver’s seat. Lana explained to him where she lived and he told her he was familiar with the complex so she wouldn’t have to give directions. Once she was buckled in, she curled up in the seat, leaning on the center console and resting her head against his shoulder with her eyes closed. The next thing she knew, they were in the parking garage below her building and Dylan was standing in her doorway waking her up.
Dylan smiled as he got Lana out of the car and she mumbled something he couldn’t understand while she leaned against him. He pushed the door shut and set the alarm before supporting her weight as they headed for the elevators. He pushed the button for her floor since she probably would have hit more than one at that point and she continued to lean against him as they ascended. He kept talking to her to try to keep her awake, and once they made it to her condo he walked her straight to the bedroom, knowing that if she sat or laid down anywhere else she would never make it there. She let go of him as she stumbled towards her dresser, pulling out a clean pair of underwear and an old t-shirt. He grabbed ahold of her again as she made her way towards the bathroom, and he stood outside the door as he waited for her to change and get ready for bed. Once she was finished, she zig-zagged towards her bed and Dylan pulled her blankets back before she collapsed into it. He covered her up and sat on the edge of the bed as he leaned over her and pressed a kiss to her forehead.
“Do you think you’ll be okay tonight?” He asked softly as he stroked his thumb over her cheek.
“You’re not staying?” She pouted. Dylan smiled and lightly brushed his lips to her cheek.
“Do you want me to stay?” He tucked her hair behind her ear as her eyes got heavy and she nodded with a weak smile.
“Come keep me warm,” she mumbled.
“I’m going to grab my bag out of the car and take a shower first, as long as you approve.”
Lana barely nodded as she started to drift off and Dylan smiled as he pressed his lips to hers once more. A tired smile spread across her face for a second before she let her dreamland take her away. He headed back down the hall and picked her keys up off the table where he had dropped them earlier. Knowing that her ex had a history of causing trouble, he didn’t want to leave her door unlocked even if he was just running down to his car and coming right back. When he got down to his car he unlocked it and opened the back door to grab his backpack that held a spare set of clothing and his laptop that went everywhere he did. He thought he heard a strange noise come from further into the garage and he looked around for a minute before turning back for the elevator. He looked out towards the parked vehicles again until the doors opened. Something didn’t feel right, but maybe he was just paranoid.
Once he got back inside he locked up the front door securely and went into the kitchen in search of water. He found a drawer filled with water bottles in the fridge and grabbed two to take back to the bedroom with him. He set them on the nightstand and looked down at a sleeping Lana. She was even more beautiful with her features totally relaxed. He quietly stepped into the bathroom and closed the door behind him, taking a quick shower and brushing his teeth. He pulled on a pair of boxer-briefs and gym shorts before shutting the light off and carefully opening the door, happy to see that Lana was still sleeping. He wondered if it would be better to sleep on the sofa, but he didn’t know where she kept her extra blankets and pillows and he didn’t want to go snooping around or wake her to ask. He promised himself he would behave. He would never disrespect her by taking advantage of her after she had been drinking. After all, he wanted their first time together to be something more than a drunk, sloppy fuck.
He flipped the light switch to darken the room and felt his way around to the opposite side of the bed from where she was laying. He gently pulled back the covers and climbed in next to her, barely getting settled before she turned to face him and cuddle into his warmth. He slipped his arm around her shoulders and she rested her head on his chest, quickly falling back into a deep sleep. He placed his hand on the back of her head and lightly kissed the top of it before closing his eyes and finally succumbing to sleep, himself.
As Lana woke up early the next morning, she slowly stirred awake, slightly confused about the arm that was draped over her. She looked over her shoulder and the memories of the previous night’s events flooded her brain. She carefully climbed out of bed and made a quick trip to the bathroom, trying her best not to wake Dylan up when she slipped back into bed. She laid with her back to him and he stirred slightly before moving up against her and wrapping his arm around her tightly. He gently kissed the back of her shoulder a few times before settling back down, and Lana sunk back into his warmth. She realized that for the first time in a long time, she actually felt safe with a man.