I got in my car and laughed. I could not stop. It was so funny. Brian was in my apartment right now, cooking me dinner. It was romantic and cute and modern and funny. Dennis had never offered to cook for me. He had offered to take me to the most exclusive restaurants. He offered to purchase me very expensive meats and ingredients. But he never offered to cook for me.
I had never heard any gossip about me and Brian. I wasn't sure that i would hear gossip, but thought that I probably would. Or at least the looks. I was on the lookout for those, but had not seen any. Carrie would probably call me in if she heard anything. I felt confident that nobody was talking about us. I was careful. I was more worried about Brian letting something slip than me doing so. Guys were just not as good at hiding that kind of stuff. Especially from women. These women in the accounting department always had their antennae up, I was sure of that. If he let anything slip, I would find it hard to forgive him.
I parked a few spaces up from my front door, so he could not wee the car when I parked it. I hoped to take him by surprise as much as possible. I snuck up against the wall of the building and moved slowly to my door. I had my keys out already, so he would not overhear the jingle jangle when I took them out of my handbag. Inserting the right key into the lock as soon as possible, I turned the handle and slowly pushed open the door. I got it to about two inches when it suddenly stopped. The chain was pulled tight across the opening. Damn him! Brian had locked me out! He actually locked me out of my own apartment.
I shook my head and chuckled. Then I grabbed hold of the nob with both hands and yanked it shut as hard as I could. When the frame stopped shaking, I casually knocked on the door. Thirty seconds passed and I raised my list to knock on the door again. But he swung the door open before I had the chance.
He put his hands on his hips and pretended to be angry with me. "Well come on in! What are you doing knocking? It's your apartment! Come on in!"
I reached up to muss his hair. He reached back to grab my hand as he walked me through the entryway. "Smells great," I admitted. "But you son of a gun, why did you lock me out? Why did you-." I stopped in place. He tried to walk on but when he pulled my arm I did not move.
Brian had set out fresh flowers in a number of vases and bowls. They were on the kitchen table, the countertop, a few places on the floor of the living room. I saw a large candle burning on the kitchen table. He nudged me towards the bedrooms. My room had a wonderful hyacinth candle going and a bowl of daisies had appeared on the nightstand next to my bed. And Erin's room. I almost cried. He had not forgotten Erin. She had a vanilla scented on her bureau. It was not lighted, but the scent was still present. And she had a small group of sunflowers on her shelf, wedged between a pair of stuffed animals. I walked straight back to the kitchen and wrapped my arms around Brian's waist and buried my face in his back. He turned around to me and I kissed him. "I love you," I told him. "You are the sweetest man."
He stepped back and stirred something on the stove. Then he forced me again with a big smile. "You are very easy to love."
I buried my face in his chest this time. He loved me. He absolutely loved me. "Thank you for remembering Erin's room."
He smiled. "Remember, I have a daughter, too. A son I would have no clue how to deal with him. But I'm a master at handling girls."
I smiled. Someone else for Erin to wrap around her little finger. "How long till we eat?" I asked.
"Twenty minutes, maybe thirty."
I told him I was going to take a shower while he finished dinner. I hugged and kissed him again before retreating to the shower.
When I came back to the kitchen, clean and changed, I found the table set and the dinner completed. "What is this?" I asked, eyeing the steaming casserole carefully. You could put anything in a casserole dish. I trusted him, but there was no telling what was in a bowl like this.
"Beef and potato bake."
"That sounds intriguing," I said, giving it a closer look and inhaling some of the steam. It smelled good, too. "Good food, candles, flowers," I said to him. "I might have to keep you around."
He smiled his most engaging smile. "I hope you do."
After dinner we moved to the living room. We talked, made out, even felt each other up a bit. After a nice period of this, I made a
proposal. "Stay the night," I whispered to Brian.
He stopped all motion and stared at me. I wanted him to think about the offer, even though I clarified shortly thereafter, "I'm not asking you to have sex with me. I want to sleep with you , Brian. Honest to God, just to sleep with you."
He pondered a few more seconds before agreeing. Brian was worried about clothes for the next day, a toothbrush, other pedestrian concerns like that. We worked out these details just fine. I turned the conversation toward a topic we had not discussed much recently. I think his wife's death and my moving out serioused up our relationship, and some of the fun flirty stuff dried up. But we still had a close bond, a deep understanding of where we were and where we were going. "I don't think it's fair to ask you to have sex with me when it's something we haven't talked about it before. But I think maybe the time is coming soon."
He nodded. "You know of course that if you asked I would not say no. It's part of the man code."
"Men never say no?"
"Only the ones who eat quiche say no," he deadpanned.
I laughed. "Well I'm not asking, but I'd like you close to me." I thought I might be pushing it a bit, but we trusted each other. "It's not like we won't do anything," I said, approaching him slowly. I kissed him softly and moved him over to my bed.
When we were both thoroughly worn out and blissfully relaxed, I curled up beside him and slept like a log.