Jobs for the Win

Confident and relaxed. Handsome young man working on digital tab

GENRE: Adult Romance/Humor… 18 + for language & some sexual situations

Synopsis

Hunter was on a strict no dating regime after his last dating fiasco ended abruptly. However, he still found that he believed in the possibility of love so when the beautiful brunette steps into his computer store he feels that the stars have somehow aligned for him but will he and his mystery woman find true love or is it just the hopeless romantic in him wanting something he can’t have.

 

Chapter 1

It has been a slow Saturday at the store, but I know it will be busy soon enough. I run one of the busiest computer software and repair stores in Seattle. Well, I run it with my best friend Gerald. I met Gerald in Junior High when his family moved to Granite Falls from Alabama. Why? I will never truly understand. It’s funny too, because even though he has been here since he was 12, he still has a little bit of that southern drawl. We were both computer geeks through junior high and high school but I was also pretty good at football. Okay, I was more than pretty good but that really wasn’t my thing. Gerald was the only one who understood that I wasn’t comfortable with all the popularity that came from being the star quarterback. I was always happier hanging with him, coming up with new programs and inventing crazy games.

I ended up going to school at the University of Washington on a football scholarship but was injured my second year. I remember it vividly. Everyone was so upset about that but in reality it was the best thing to ever happen to me because it allowed me to study computer programming, which was what I really wanted to do in the first place. It also made it blatantly clear who my real friends were.

Gerald also went to UW to get his computer science degree, so once we graduated we decided to start our own business. We are unique in that we are able to repair both Mac and Windows operating systems. This, of course, keeps us very busy. Now Gerald is our Window’s expert while I am a wiz on a Mac, although we are both 100% capable of working on either system. Today though, Gerald is driving me nuts and making me question whether I want to still be in business with him. Okay, that’s not entirely true but he is driving me crazy.

“Gerald, really?” I say, exasperated. “Why would you think that Windows 10 would come out and not have any problems?” I ask, flustered at his unwavering devotion to Bill Gates.

“I’m not saying it wouldn’t have problems. I’m just saying you are pre-judging it because you are an Apple guy so you automatically assume the worst,” he states calmly as he quickly scans several screens on his computer.

“That’s because Gates is notorious for bringing stuff out before it’s ready, so the software almost always has major bugs in it.”

He just rolls his eyes at me as we hear the bells ring, indicating that someone just walked in to the shop. Gerald motions towards the door with his thumb and I turn around to see the most stunning young woman stumble in, trying to juggle her computer bag, which is falling off of her shoulder, and answer her phone at the same time. I hear her huff into the phone.

“I just got here. I’ll call you back.”

She looks up and our eyes meet and I feel like I stepped into a vortex, some sort of alternate universe, where I am a king and she is my queen and I am filled with a strong desire to get on my knee and present myself to her. She parts her lips ever so slightly as she draws in a long breath. She has the most beautiful mahogany hair flowing wildly around her face and for a moment I am at a total loss for words. I am completely mesmerized as I look into her deep brown eyes and I need to get closer. I am drawn to her, my feet move all on their own accord, until I am standing right before her. Close enough to see the highlights in her hair and the gold flecks in her eyes.

“Can I help you, ma’am?” I finally stutter out.

“Um, my laptop died the other day and I was told you guys were the best at retrieving lost data,” she says quickly.

“What kind of system do you have?”

“I’m sorry, what?” she asks with a confused expression on her face, she then shakes her head and mumbles something to herself before speaking again, “I’m sorry, I have Windows XP.”

I smile. “Well, I should be able to help you but you know they have upgraded that system quite a few times now. You might want to consider updating your operating system so that you aren’t too far behind.”

She furrows her brows at me. “Well, this has worked just fine for me and would have continued to be fine had Mr. Morton not spilled coffee on it,” she says in a clipped tone.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you,” I say sheepishly. Insert foot in mouth, Hunter.

I stare at her as she brings her hand to her hair, pushing some of it away from her face. And I am forced to suppress the moan that wants to escape as I take a deep breath, trying to get my equilibrium back.

“Well, let me take a look at what you have,” I finally say, trying to at least sound professional and not like some lovesick little boy staring at the girl of his dreams.

She hands over her bag and we go about setting it up on one of the work stations we have set in the store. She proceeds to tell me what she lost and how important that data is, that she normally backs up everything but she hadn’t had a chance to back this up yet. I take apart her system, replace a circuit board and after a few hours was able to retrieve the files she needed. Well, in reality I could have done it much sooner but I just loved hearing the sound of her voice and the way she would slip her bottom lip into her mouth when she was trying to explain something. She is quite distracting to say the least.

“Oh, thank God! You are a life saver.”

“I’m glad I could help, ma’am.”

“Please call me Bailey. I’m not old enough to be a ma’am,” she says, grinning.

I smile. “Well, I’m glad I was able to get you what you needed, Bailey.” Bailey, my goddess has a name. It fits her, my beautiful Bailey. Okay, she isn’t mine but a guy can dream, can’t he?

“So, you sort of have me at a disadvantage,” she says, grinning and bringing me out of my haze.

“And, how’s that Bailey?”

“Well, you know my name but I don’t know yours.”

“Hunter. My name’s Hunter.”

She smirks and I have to fight the desperate need to pull her in my arms and kiss her with such passion that she loses her breath. Yeah, that probably wouldn’t be a good idea. I smile though as I imagine what her soft lips must feel like. I shake my head quickly and walk her to the register to calculate her bill. She pays and then starts to walk away but stops, turning around to look at me.

“Hunter, would it be too forward of me to ask if you wanted to join me for a cup of coffee?”

“I’d love to have coffee with you?” I say much too quickly with what I am sure is the most ridiculous grin on my face.

I look over at Gerald who has witnessed the entire exchange. He just motions with his hands for me to go about my business, which at this point is getting to know everything there is to know about this extraordinary woman before me.

“There’s a Starbuck’s down the street. Do you want to go there?” I ask as we step out of the store.

She grins. “Isn’t it required that when you go for coffee in Seattle you must go to Starbucks for it? I think I read that in a brochure somewhere,” she says sarcastically.

I just laugh. God! I love this girl already. “Yes, I believe I have read that brochure as well,” I say putting my arm over her shoulder, when she looks up at me, I grin and take her computer bag from her, pulling it over my head and draping it over my own shoulder.

We walk the two blocks and now that she doesn’t have her bag she seems a bit lost. She plays with her hair for a moment and then slips her hands into her back pockets. God! Can she be anymore adorable?

“What would you like, Bailey?” I ask as we approach the counter.

“I’ll have a triple shot, Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Oh, and one of those lemon cakes too,” she says pointing to some kind of lemon pound cake.

I grin and order our drinks and her cake and when I go to pay she puts her hand up.

“I think I asked you so doesn’t that mean I should pay?” she asks, serious as can be.

“I don’t know, Bailey. Is there some etiquette book that says that?” I smirk at her as I hand my card to the lady behind the counter who is grinning at the two of us.

She pulls that luscious bottom lip into her mouth and then smiles, shrugging her shoulders. After we get our order, we look around and find a couple of open chairs.

“So, what do you teach, Bailey? You said there were test scores on the files you thought you lost,” I say taking a sip of my coffee.

She tears off a piece of the lemon cake and pops it in her mouth, moaning softly as she closes her eyes, chewing slowly. God! Eating cake should not be that erotic. She smiles when she is done, opening her eyes and they are sparkling with mischief. She takes another piece, bringing it to my mouth. She places it inside and her fingers graze my lips and I feel a fire surge through me. She lets her fingers linger on my mouth for a lot longer than is appropriate but I’m not going to say anything.

“Yummy, isn’t it?” she whispers seductively.

“Definitely,” I say as I boldly kiss her fingertips.

Her eyes close slowly and her breathing hitches before she reluctantly pulls her fingers away from my mouth.

“I um… I teach Biology & Anatomy at Everett High School. This is my second year there.”

“Really?” What are the odds of her being from the same neck of the woods that I grew up in? “I actually went to Granite Falls High School so I am familiar with EHS,” I say, grinning. I know she can’t be from there or I would have definitely met her before.

“You did? I went to Granite Falls as well, for my Junior and Senior year. But I would have remembered going to school with you,” she says blushing slightly. God! I just want to reach over and touch her.

“I graduated in ’03, when did you go there?” I ask, very curious how I could have missed this beautiful young woman in front of me.

“I graduated in ’05 so you graduated 3 months before I got there.” She pauses and a look of recognition crosses her face. “Wait! You’re not THE Hunter Reynolds are you, the one who took Granite Falls to the championship in ’03?”

I laugh. “The one and only. I have been back a few times. I can’t believe I have never run into you before now.”

“Well, I can’t imagine we have ever run in the same circles. That is if your reputation is to be believed,” she says arching her brow at me.

“Don’t believe everything you hear,” I say, laughing and knowing damn well what rumors she is referring to.

She smiles at me and pops another piece of cake in her mouth, closing her eyes as the cake melts in her mouth. She takes a sip of her coffee and I am suddenly transfixed by her mouth. I want to kiss her so badly, to touch my lips against hers. I close my eyes and shake my head slightly, trying to get a hold of myself.

“Bailey, can I take you out tonight?”

She grins and then looks down. “I’m sorry I can’t. I have… other plans.”

Hmm, other plans. Shit! Does she have a date? “So… these other plans… cancel him,” I say smoothly, hoping she will.

She looks at me for a long time, breathing slowly, before finally pulling out her phone. She glances at it, flipping through some numbers before finding what she wanted.

“I can’t make it tonight,” she says not taking her eyes off of me.

The person on the other end must say something she doesn’t like because she frowns and I want to immediately kick his ass, assuming she is canceling a date.

“No, I don’t think so,” she finally says before hanging up.

“Well, Mr. Reynolds. You have me, now what?”

I can’t wipe the smirk from my face as I take her hand in mine, bringing it to my mouth. I allow my lips to lightly caress her knuckles, looking up at her from under my lashes. Her eyes flutter closed as she exhales slowly.

“How much time do you have?” My voice comes out ragged and I realize that I was actually holding my breath.

“How much time do you need?” Her eyes are still closed and when she opens them they are heavy with need.

I swallow hard, trying to contain my own desire. “Would you like to go out to eat?”

God! That was so lame. That’s the best you can come up with, Reynolds, when the most beautiful girl you have ever seen gives you sex eyes. Holy Shit! She smiles and my heart feels like it is about to beat out of my chest. Surely she can hear it.

“That would be nice,” she says, leaving me spellbound. Does she even realize that she’s doing that?

I clear my throat quickly. “Where would you like to go?”

She brings her forefinger to her chin and starts tapping it exaggeratedly and once again I have to fight the pull to lean over the table and kiss her senseless.

“Hey…” She looks at her phone quickly. “Macrina’s is still open. The one on 1st avenue is open until 6:00 p.m.”

I look at my watch; it’s almost 5:00. “I don’t think they serve food after 3:00.”

She smiles knowingly. “Well, I always have my dessert first. What’s the point in waiting? What if I die while I am eating dinner and I die not having eaten the one thing I wanted most.”

I stare at her incredulously. Is she serious? No… she can’t be serious, can she? “So you think you could die during dinner? Aren’t the odds of that pretty slim?” I say, trying hard not to sound like a sarcastic ass but she can’t honestly believe that.

“Tell you what. Guarantee me, swear to me on your eternal soul that I make it through my entrée and I’ll wait but…” She puts up her finger for emphasis, “if I die you’re going to have to live the rest of your life knowing that not only did you lie to me but you denied me of my one last indulgence. My last wish. Are you prepared to shoulder that kind of responsibility?” she says, intently.

I scrunch my eyebrows together and stare at her. I start to open my mouth but then close it. Hell, I don’t know what to say to that. I mean, in principle I get what she is saying but come on, that’s kind of goofy thinking for a science teacher. Finally, she smiles and starts laughing hysterically. I mean full out guffaws, to the point that tears are coming out of her eyes. I can’t help but smile at her. When she finally gains some form of control and settles herself down she takes a deep breath as I furrow my brow again. What is up with her?

“I’m sorry, Hunter,” she says, bringing her fingers to my scrunched up brow. “I couldn’t help it. It’s one of my favorite lines from a movie I like. Your expression was priceless.”

I stare at her and shake my head, finally breaking out into a huge laugh. We sit there laughing and joking and I think to myself that I haven’t laughed this hard in ages. I think I just might be in love with her and I don’t even know her yet. We hang out at the coffee shop for a long time and end up walking to a café down the street. True to form, she does order dessert first, giggling as she does. I have the best time with her as we talk and laugh and learn about each other. She kept trying to get me to talk about myself, but hell, I’m boring. I was more interested in finding out who she was.

As we walk down the street toward my shop, which is where her car is still parked, I desperately want to hold her hand or something. My God! I feel like I am in high school. No wait! Girls threw themselves at me in high school. This is more like junior high, before I became “Hunter Reynolds, Star Quarterback,” back when I was just a computer geek who liked to tinker around making programs in my room. I am so damn nervous. When we make it to her car she opens the car door and throws her computer bag in the front seat. Gee, she is pretty rough with that thing. I’m surprised it has lasted as long as it has.

“So can I see you again?” I say leaning in towards her. She moves back slightly, putting her head down and taking a deep breath.

I lean against the car, looking down, generally hurt that she isn’t letting me even kiss her goodnight. Did I misinterpret things, because she seemed to like me? I let out a deep breath before speaking again.

“So… dessert before dinner but…”

She stares at me for a moment and then brings her hand up the side of my face. I look down slightly as she cups my cheek and then moves her hand up the nape of my neck and into the back of my hair. She leans up on her tip toes and kisses me softly on the lips and then runs her hand down my jaw, tracing my lips with her thumb.

“Goodnight Hunter,” she whispers as she gets into her car and starts the engine.

I stand there dumbfounded and can’t wipe the stupid grin off of my face as I watch her drive off. I sigh as I bring my fingers to my lips, closing my eyes. She kissed me. My beautiful Bailey kissed me. I grin as I walk to my car, knowing I will be having some pleasant dreams tonight.

 

Chapter 2

It’s not until I get home that I realize I didn’t get her phone number and I wrack my brain trying to remember her last name. Did she even give it to me? I plop down on my bed and bring my hands into my hair. What an idiot! I touch my finger to my lips and close my eyes, remembering how soft her lips were against mine, how I felt a jolt of electricity shoot straight to my heart. Well, damn it! I need to see her again. I sit up quickly. Now, what have I learned about her so far?

  • She is a teacher.She teaches Biology & Anatomy so she has to be smart.
  • She has the most beautiful brown eyes imaginable.God, I could get lost in them.
  • She is funny. That thing she did about desserts was goofy as hell but cool at the same time.
  • She loves movies.We spent most of the time talking about movies she liked including the one she quoted.
  • She is not tech savvy at all!I grin. Who is still operating with Windows XP?
  • She definitely cancelled a date tonight. I frown. Maybe that’s why she didn’t want to kiss me.

Hmm. That last one could be a problem. If she is dating someone but cancelled him to be with me does that mean she doesn’t believe in the whole dating thing or is it that the guy she is dating doesn’t mean anything to her or does she really care about this guy? I frown and shake my head vehemently at that last thought. God! I felt a connection with her and I am pretty sure she felt it too so if she cared about this other guy she wouldn’t have kissed me. But now what? I guess I could probably call the school and find out her last name. I smack my forehead with my palm. IDIOT! Why didn’t you ask her? I lay back down on the bed, my hand over my heart. I know why. Because you were too dang busy watching the way her mouth moved that you forgot to ask her a few important questions! Now look where that’s gotten you.

I sigh and then jump up quickly, walking over to my Mac and pulling up the website for Everett High School. I need to find her or at least figure out her last name. Ahhh, Faculty listings. I am scrolling and stop when I see a name I recognize. Huh! I didn’t know he taught there. It says he is the football coach. Figures! I just shake my head and continue to scroll, stopping on a picture. So that’s Mr. Morton. It says he teaches U.S. History. I frown at his picture. Yeah, I know you spilled coffee on her laptop on purpose, asshole. You want to date her, I know it. Shit! maybe he already has dated her. I flick my finger at his face a couple of times and then look around, realizing how crazy I am acting. God, we aren’t even dating and I already want to kick this guy’s ass because he MAY have dated her or wants to date her.

I stand up and pace around my room, frantically running my fingers through my hair. Is it creepy that I am doing this? Looking up a girl online when maybe she doesn’t want to see me again. I start shaking my head. No, she wants to see me again. I felt it and I know she felt it too. I stop pacing and glance at my Mac again. I need to see her again, that’s the bottom line, so I walk back over and continue my search. I gasp when I see her beautiful face. There she is.

Ms. Bailey Mueller
Faculty, Biology & Anatomy

I can’t stop the huge grin on my face. I quickly click on her picture and an email screen pops up. I lean back, bringing my hand into my hair again. Now what? If I email her she will know I went snooping and think I am some kind of stalker but what if I don’t? Will I ever see her again? Shit! I click out of it and go back to her picture. I touch the screen, reverently tracing her face. She’s so beautiful. I need to try. It would be a mistake not to so I click on her picture, bringing up her email screen again.

Bailey,

I know this probably sounds very stalker-ish, looking you up in the middle of the night and then writing to you but I had to tell you how much I liked hanging out with you tonight.

I lean back again, re-reading what I have written so far. Hmm… okay, yeah that sounds very juvenile and something a guy in high school would write. Alright well, how do I say I like you and I want you to call me without sounding desperate? God, Hunter, you’re 27 years old, I think you are capable of writing something a little more intelligent. I stare at it for a long time and then start writing again.

Dearest Bailey,

I apologize for writing this at such a late hour and for invading your privacy by looking up your email address, but I had to tell you how much I enjoyed your company tonight. It has been a long time since a woman has captivated me as you have. You are clearly the most beautiful, intelligent and charming woman I have ever met and your kiss continues to linger in my mind. I would be honored if you would allow me to take you out again. My contact information is listed at the bottom of this email. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
Hunter A. Reynolds

I reread it again and smile widely. Yes! That is more like it. I stare at it for a while and then take a deep breath before hitting send. Well, the ball is in her court now. I push away from the desk and grab some pajama pants out of my drawer, glancing back at the computer one more time before getting under the covers.

~*~*~*~*~

Sunday was simply horrendous. I was anxious all day waiting for a reply. I rebooted my computer several times even though logically I know it didn’t need it but I had to be sure. By Sunday night I had worked myself up into a frenzied state until I finally had to accept that maybe, just maybe, Bailey didn’t feel what I felt on Saturday. That was really hard for me to wrap my head around since the pull I felt was so strong. But why else would she not have contacted me? It had been a long time since I had a connection like that; well really I have never had a connection like THAT before. But by Sunday night I resolved that, unless I went über creepy and just showed up at her school, I needed to let it go. When Monday rolled around I had slept maybe a couple of hour’s tops so when I strolled into the office I am sure I must have looked frightful. I walk by Gerald who looks up at me, cocking his eyebrow, before spinning around in his chair, watching me go to my station to log on. I don’t say anything to him.

“So… how was your date with Bailey?” he finally asks.

I shrug, plopping down in my chair.

“I didn’t hear from you all weekend so I thought maybe she spent the weekend and you were ‘busy’,” he says with a grin, using air quotes to emphasize the word busy.

I whip my head up quickly, just staring at him. I am furious. Why would he think that?

“So you thought Bailey would just put out that quickly. Is that the kind of girl she strikes you as?” If I was a cartoon I am sure there would be steam shooting out of my ears with a caption that said ‘he’s ready to blow’.

Gerald frowns at me. “Hunter, calm down. Of course I don’t think that. I just… I don’t know. You usually call me and you didn’t. I’m sorry. I just assumed you were with Bailey and that’s why you didn’t get in touch.”

I sigh dramatically, throwing my head back and closing my eyes. I wish I was with Bailey. I wish I could say that I didn’t call him because Bailey and I were making love or something equally wonderful. I run my fingers through my hair and then look over at him defeated.

“We had a great time on Saturday. She is so funny and smart and beautiful. But… she didn’t give me her number when she left. I don’t know if it was an oversight on her part or if she was just trying to let me off easy,” I say sighing.

“Did you give her yours?” he asks questioningly.

I frown. “No. I was an idiot. I was transfixed with… I don’t know, she is so beautiful I wasn’t thinking very clearly. When I got back to my apartment I realized what had happened and I looked her up.”

“YOU WHAT?”

“I know, I know… that’s über creepy but I had to. So I checked out the school website and… well, I sent her an email,” I say, waiting for him to tell me I’m an idiot.

When I look up at him he has a contemplative look on his face.

“So…” He waves his hand in a rolling manner. “Did she write back?”

“No,” I reply, crushed, and bang my head lightly against the desk.

He laughs and comes over to me, placing his hand on my shoulder. “Calm down, Hunter. Maybe she doesn’t even go on her work email on the weekends. You know some people aren’t computer geeks like us. They don’t check their emails religiously,” he says, winking when I look up at him.

“I hadn’t thought of that,” I say, smiling. So maybe I made myself worry for nothing. Maybe she hasn’t even opened the email yet. God! I should have talked to Gerald earlier.

“So when she does contact you, are you gonna make her upgrade her system. My God! Her laptop is archaic!” he says laughing and I can’t help but laugh as well.

“Nah, I think I will just have her get a Mac instead, since they are more reliable and efficient,” I say, laughing when he rolls his eyes at me, making his fingers come together like a mouth going up and down. “You know I speak the truth!” I say loudly as he walks back to his desk, raising said hand and flipping me off.

The morning seemed to fly by. We had a couple of people come in to do upgrades on their computers and I was working on a couple of projects for some customers. By the time lunch rolled around I was famished. I didn’t eat at all on Sunday, wallowing in self-pity will do that to a person, but now, well it’s catching up to me.

“Hey let’s order some sandwiches from Macrina’s for lunch,” I say enthusiastically.

Ever since Bailey mentioned it Saturday I have wanted to go there. Maybe just because she had wanted to but I don’t know, I would like to think I am not that obsessed with her that I would want to eat somewhere just because she likes it. Reality check, Hunter, you are that obsessed. You did, after all, look her up. STALKER!

He looks over at me. “Yeah, that sounds great. Order me one of those Grilled Costoni’s and get some of those Whisper Cakes. Man, those things are good!” He says the last part sighing. Yeah those cakes are melt-in-your-mouth good.

I call the Belltown Café, yes that’s the one on 1st street. I’m pathetic. I order Gerald’s food and a Carne sandwich with soup for me and then head out, wishing I was taking Bailey here and wondering what she would have ordered. By the time I get back, Gerald is done with his repair work and quickly grabs the bag out of my hand. He takes his sandwich and then starts to grab all of the cakes and I smack his hand down. HARD!

“What the hell, Gerald? Some of those are mine, you know,” I say annoyed.

He shrugs. “My bad, dude! I just thought you were being generous because of my fabulous advice this morning.”

“Hey, I can be generous but not when it comes to whisper cakes, now step away before you get hurt,” I say, trying to hold an angry expression but can’t do it and start laughing.

“Whatever, soup boy!” he replies waving me off.

“Shut up. I like soup, what the hell is wrong with that? You know you have never adequately explained to me why that is such a bad thing.”

“Dude. I don’t know any guy that ‘likes’ soup but you,” Gerald says laughing. “I don’t know, man, it’s just… weird,” he finishes, laughing even harder.

I shake my head at him and laugh. He’s always messed with me about my soup thing. I still don’t see what’s wrong with it. I mean, seriously. Lots of people enjoy soup. My phone buzzes just as I pop one of the cakes in my mouth. I glance at it and see I have a new email from… Bailey Mueller. I almost choke on my cake but jump up running to my computer. I mean I can check it on my phone but I hate scrolling. I quickly pull up my email, giddy with excitement as I click on her email. God, you would think I was 17 versus 27 with the way I’m acting.

Dearest Hunter,

At the risk of sounding like a love sick school girl with a crush, I literally squealed in delight when I got your beautiful message. In fact, I have found myself reading it in between classes, smiling like a loon. I am sure people are wondering what I am grinning about. I have just now had time to write you back without some sniveling freshman arguing with me about the grade I gave them. I guess they should have studied more and they wouldn’t be trying to bargain for a better grade!

As I drove home on Saturday I realized that we never exchanged numbers and was horrified. I had actually written an email Saturday evening as well but it was written to the email for your work and I wasn’t sure if it was yours individually or the stores and I really didn’t want that other guy to read it.

I too had a wonderful time on Saturday. I’m sorry if I seemed distant at the end of the night. I unfortunately entered a relationship too quickly awhile back with a teacher at my school. It ended badly and I have to deal with him on a regular basis. I really liked you and thought there was something there between us but was worried I was making another rash decision. When I realized that I may not be able to see you again or talk to you I felt horrible AND idiotic that I was so engrossed with you that I didn’t ask for your number. I am going to blame it on the fact that you are absolutely gorgeous and that you may have actually put some kind of spell on me. I have no other defense so that is what I am sticking with

I do not have access to this email account at home. Well, I take that back. I do have access I just am inept at figuring it out. I am sure that you picked up on my lack of technological prowess. I hope that you, being a computer God and all, will not hold that against me. I am enclosing my contact information, please call me. I would love to see you again.

Bailey

P.S… I can’t stop thinking about our kiss either. In fact, I am thinking about it right now!

I re-read it again, TWICE, and then lean back, smiling from ear to ear. I jump up quickly and line up a few of the cakes and take a picture of them. I then plug in all of Bailey’s contact information and send the picture along with a text.

H: I want you to know that I am having my dessert first.

B: GAH! Is that a whisper cake?

H: Why yes it is. Do you know of the whisper cake?

B: It’s my favorite. That’s why I wanted to go to Macrinas.

H: We have a lot in common Ms. Mueller.

B: It appears we do. I have a class starting in a few minutes. Call me after 4 ok. I should be home by then.

H: Will do. Have a great day.

B: You too.

I am grinning and, oddly enough, giggling at her email and subsequent texts. We are so perfect for one another. I finally look up to see Gerald facing in my direction. He is leaning back in his chair with his legs crossed, wiping some imaginary thing off of his pants. He looks up at me, arching his brow.

“Bailey I would presume.”

“You would presume correctly,” I say, not able to stop smiling.

“Uh huh!” he says, shaking his head and laughing before finally picking up his sandwich.

I snicker again and re-read our exchange, smiling like an idiot. I find myself bouncing in my seat and then run my hand through my hair excitedly before walking back to the table to finish my lunch. My heart feels so light and airy. I glance at the clock, four more hours before I can talk to her again. She said she felt it too. I knew she had. I breathe in deeply; I need to see her again. SOON!

 

Chapter 3

“So what time are you leaving?” she asks.

“What time do you want me there?”

She sighs, “Now!”

I smile as I instinctually run my tongue along my lips.

“But you told me to come down on Saturday.” I swear sometimes she is all over the place.

“I know but now that Friday is here I am regretting it. I want to see you so bad.”

Since Monday, Bailey and I have talked and emailed one another every single day. She gets up early so she always sends me an email in the morning. Then she sends me texts throughout the day, in between classes, and at night we talk before going to bed. I tried to explain to her how to use Skype but she told me I was tech talking way over her head. Bless her heart. She really is NOT technologically sound, at all. I have decided that I am upgrading her operating system this weekend. If her sorry excuse for a computer can handle it.

“I want to see you as well. I don’t know how I will sleep tonight.” I am sure she can hear the desperation in my voice.

“I know, me too.” She pauses and then speaks again softly, “You’re not planning on dressing up tomorrow, are you?”

“Define dressing up?” I ask, wondering where she is going with this.

“You know that there is nothing fancy in Everett that would require you to wear a suit. I guess I just… I just want to dress comfortably and if you wear a suit I will be forced to wear a dress.” She sighs dramatically, “There, I said it. Does that sound bad?”

I laugh. “No. It doesn’t sound bad. So you would prefer I wear jeans?”

“I just tend to wear pant suits and professional attire during the week. I already look young so if I don’t dress up everyone thinks I go to the school versus teaching at it. I like to be comfortable on the weekends but I would totally dress up for you if you want me to,” she rambles quickly. I love when she does that.

“I understand completely. I will wear jeans then.”

“Thank you, Jobs,” she replies with a giggle.

I just shake my head. She keeps calling me Jobs because I told her she needs a Mac. I simply pointed out to her that the Windows based systems suck and are prone to viruses and are hacked easier. She had asked me if Steve Jobs had me on payroll. The next time I brought it up she called me Jobs. I’m not sure if I like it but she always giggles when she says it so I can’t really be mad at her. When I told Gerald what she said he started laughing hysterically, saying he wished he had thought of it. ASSHOLE!

“You’re welcome, Winnie,” I reply chuckling.

When she called me Jobs my quick and witty reply was, ‘okay, Winnie’. She had started laughing uncontrollably asking me if she reminded me of Winnie the Pooh. Yeah, I know… I’m an idiot but I was under pressure. I’m not a poet or anything. I’m a computer geek who played football. Creativity is not my strong suit. So the first thought that popped into my head was Windows 10 because she has a Windows operating system. Like I said, I’m an idiot.

“Hey, what are we watching tomorrow?” I ask, still laughing. “Anything coming out you want to see?”

“Not really, but…” She pauses. “You’re going to think I’m weird.”

“I already think you’re weird so just tell me.” I can’t stop chuckling.

She laughs. “Hey Jobs… watch it!”

“Okay, okay.”

I’m struck with how much I wish she could figure out how to use Skype because I want to see what she is doing. Is she biting her lip? Playing with her hair? What? Finally, she starts talking again.

“They’re running this art festival at the Marx this Saturday and showing all of these movies related to famous artists and well, there is a movie I would like to see. That is if you are okay with it.”

“Sure Win, whatever you want.”

“Well, are you sure?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Well… because the lead characters are gay. Most guys don’t want to see two men expressing their love for one another. I mean I hear that the movie is really good.”

HUH! Well, I don’t have anything against gay people. But I don’t know if I want to see two guys getting it on. I mean that doesn’t make me a homophobe does it? I guess it doesn’t really matter if they do. I suppose… well, hell what’s the difference between a straight couple getting it on and a gay couple. I mean aside from the obvious but I would assume that wouldn’t be shown. Oh hell. I told her anything.

“Never mind, Jobs. It’s cool. We can …”

“Wait! No Bailey, hold on,” I say quickly, cutting her off. “I’m okay with it. Really, I am.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Really.”

She gets quiet and I wonder if she is asleep.

“You still there, Bailey?”

“Yeah. I’m just getting sleepy but I don’t want to hang up. Is that silly?”

“Not at all. I hate this part. I never want to say bye.”

“Mmm… I guess I better be the mature one then,” she says with another giggle and then a yawn. “Goodnight, Hunter.”

“Goodnight, Bailey.”

We hang up and I lay there with the phone across my chest. I can’t wait to see her tomorrow. It’s not long before I drift off, dreaming of my beautiful Bailey and the possibilities tomorrow will present to us.

 

Chapter 4

I am practically bouncing in my seat when I pass the welcome to Everett sign and then when I pull up in front of Bailey’s small house I almost forget to put it in park before I turn it off. I quickly walk up to her door knocking. I haven’t seen her in a week and when she opens the door I am met with the most enchanting smile imaginable. She is wearing some black jeans with these hot boots giving her a few more inches of height and some kind of light gray t-shirt that is tucked behind her belt buckle. Her hair is flowing loosely around her face as she brings her hand to her hair, grinning. She is so beautiful.

It’s like I can’t move, I am transfixed, lost in her stunning beauty. Finally, she breaks my trance and steps towards me, wrapping her hands around my neck and kissing me. I can’t help the moan that escapes my throat as she opens her mouth, allowing me to deepen our kiss. I start gently stroking her tongue with mine as she plays with the hair on the back of my neck. God! That feels good. By the time we pull away from each other we are both out of breath.

“Hi.”

I laugh and kiss her chastely on her lips. “Hi.”

I hand her the bouquet of roses I had picked up on my way out of Seattle and she immediately smells them. I can see her smile and then pull that luscious bottom lip of hers into her mouth and my heart just leaps.

“Thank you,” she whispers and kisses me again. “You look really nice, Hunter.”

She steps back from me, looking me up and down. I had picked out a pair of faded button fly jeans, a light blue t-shirt and a darker blue denim jacket. Nothing fancy as per her request.

“Well you are breathtaking!” I say kissing her forehead.

She giggles and I smile as we walk into her house. I watch as she strolls into her kitchen, looking for a vase to put the roses in so I take a moment to look around. She has a small house. It looks like maybe a one bedroom and my guess is one bathroom. She has a nice size living room though with what looks like a 32 inch flat screen TV and a seemingly comfortable couch. There are a few pictures on the walls and papers and books scattered on various tables throughout her home. And in the corner of the room she has one of those life sized human skeleton models they use in classrooms. I can’t help but smile, she definitely brings her work home with her. When she’s done in the kitchen she walks over to me, wrapping her arms around my waist.

“I saw you looking at Ronnie over there, now don’t be getting jealous, Jobs. He’s just a friend,” she says with a wink.

“Just a friend, huh?” I say pulling her closer to me. I can’t believe she actually named the damn thing.

I look down at her and can’t stop smiling as she leans up, kissing me softly on the lips. At the same time she runs her hands down the front of my jacket and then stops, tapping the CD case in my pocket. She pulls away from me grinning.

“Whatcha got there, Jobs?” I can tell that she is trying to stifle her giggle.

I grin. “Your upgrade! So… where’s that ancient laptop of yours?” I ask, laughing at her expression.

She smacks me on the chest and then pushes me back. “Stop ripping my computer, Jobs. She has treated me well.”

“Okay, okay… I’m sorry.”

I grab her waist and bring her in for another kiss. When we come up for air, she motions towards a desk in the corner of the room. I run my fingers along her jaw and then walk over to her computer. It boots up right away. No password protection or anything. I swear this woman has no concept of internet safety. She could be hacked so easily. It takes me a few hours to add more GB’s to her hard drive, upload the new operating system and show her how to use Skype. I made it very easy for her so all she had to do is click on one icon to get into it and then one icon to dial me. When I am done she takes my hand in hers as she motions her head towards the door.

I smile as I lead her to my car. I am taking her to Valentino’s. It’s a nice restaurant in town that I used to go to when I lived in Granite Falls. I take her hand in mine as we walk inside. This restaurant can get crowed on the weekends so when I walk up to the hostess I make sure to tell her that I would like a table for two. This crazy woman walks us over to a table that could seat four in the crowded section of the restaurant. Oh this is definitely not going to work for me. I turn to her and smile.

“Can we be seated somewhere more private?” I insist. I mean isn’t it obvious that I am on a date?

She looks between the two of us. “Sure.”

She then walks us to another section of the restaurant that is quieter and more intimate and seats us at a table set for two. There are only a few couples over here which suits me just fine.

“How’s this?” she asks, batting her lashes at me.

“This is perfect, thank you.”

“Your server will be with you shortly.”

When she walks away, Bailey starts laughing and when I look at her she is just shaking her head.

“What?” I ask confused.

“You know you really shouldn’t do that?”

“Do what?” I am still confused. What the hell is she talking about? I have a right to ask for a better table.

“You really have no idea the effect you have on women, do you? She’s probably hyperventilating or something back there,” she says, grinning as she picks up the menu.

I just stare at her for a moment and smirk as I glance at the menu as well. The waitress eventually comes over and looks at the two of us, turning her back to Bailey and focusing on me. I barely notice her fiddling with a stray strand of her hair, wrapping it around her finger.

“Are you ready to order?” she asks, smiling like she just met a movie star or something.

I turn to Bailey. “Bailey, what would you like?”

She is staring at the waitress, looking annoyed. “I’ll have the shrimp linguini.”

I turn to the waitress. “The shrimp linguini and I’ll have the Tuscan steak and…” I turn back to Bailey, “Do you prefer white or red wine?”

Bailey is still shooting daggers at this lady. Okay… Not sure what that is about. I quickly look at the wine menu and pick the first Syrah I see, the ‘Les Collines’. When the waitress leaves, I reach my hand to Bailey who is watching the woman walk to the back. She glances at my hands and brings hers up to mine. She still looks angry though.

“What’s the matter?” I ask, hoping I didn’t do something to piss her off already.

“God, could she be any more obvious. Is it so unusual that you and I would be on a date?” She says irritably.

I glance back at the waitress confused. “Why, what did she do?”

“Seriously… Hunter, she was blatantly flirting with you,” Bailey responds, annoyance clearly evident in her posture and facial expression.

“I didn’t notice,” I say as I lift her hand to my lips, kissing her knuckles.

She closes her eyes and takes a few deep breaths. I can’t believe that she would be jealous of some lady I barely noticed. When every day and night I think of her, imagining her lips on mine, her fingers gently caressing my body, and my fingers tenderly stroking hers.

“I’m sorry. That was really immature of me,” she says sighing.

“Bailey, you are the only one I think about. I want you. No one else interests me,” I say looking into her intense brown eyes.

I smile at her and watch as she draws that bottom lip into her mouth. She leans over the table slightly and I lean towards her as she gently kisses me. By the time the waitress comes back to our table we are just pulling away from each other. We both are grinning as the waitress sets our meals in front of us.

“Is there anything else I can get for you?” she asks in my direction but I am looking solely at Bailey.

“No. I have everything I need right here,” I say not even looking at her as I start running my finger along Bailey’s hand.

Bailey looks at me and smiles as the waitress walks away from us. Bailey and I spend the rest of our meal chatting about our week and when we were done we head towards the Marx Theater to get our tickets for ‘Little Ashes’. We have some time before the movie starts so we decide to go for a walk along the sidewalk, window shopping and holding hands. I couldn’t be happier than I am right now. That is, until I hear an eerily familiar voice.

“Hunter? Oh my God! What are you doing here?” Gabriella asks, trying to hug me.

I step away from her hug and frown. “I’m on a date. Gabriella, this is my girlfriend, Bailey Mueller.”

She turns to Bailey who is staring at her. Gabriella and I dated my junior and senior year in high school and for a little over a year in college… until I got injured, that is. Then all of a sudden I wasn’t so interesting anymore. Gabriella has always been beautiful with her statuesque figure and honey blond hair and at the time we were dating I thought she was everything but I soon realized that she didn’t care about me at all. She only cared about who I was, the star quarterback, destined for the NFL. When I got injured she had no desire to be with just an average person so she left me. I hear she hooked up with some rich stock broker and became his trophy wife. I wonder what she is doing here. Visiting the little people perhaps?

Bailey reaches her hand out to her and shakes it. “Nice to meet you.” She then turns to me. “We should probably head back before the show starts.”

I nod picking up on her cue. “It was nice seeing you again, Gabriella,” I say, wrapping my arm around Bailey and walking away.

When we are closer to the theater I kiss the top of her hair. “Sorry about that.”

She smiles up at me. “Don’t worry about it, Jobs. I know you were very popular in Granite Falls and therefore it is inevitable that we will run into people you know.” She hesitates, taking a deep breath before finally speaking again, “She’s very pretty.”

“Not nearly as pretty as you, plus she is ugly on the inside. Unlike you, you’re beautiful inside and out,” I say kissing the top of her head.

She nudges into my side, grinning as we head inside the theater and find some seats. The movie was really good. I didn’t know very much about Dali or this Lorca guy so it was interesting. It was kind of sad though because they were never able to really be together and then the one guy died. Even the intimate parts were, oddly enough, very romantic and heart wrenching. In fact, I was sort of rooting for them to just say screw it and be together, regardless of the consequences. We walk out of the theater hand in hand, swinging our entwined fingers like a couple of kids.

“So… what did you think?” she asks, glancing up at me.

“It was great. It was kind of sad though. Do you think it was a true story?”

“It’s supposed to be based on the letters and journals of that writer, Federico García Lorca but I am sure there were some creative liberties taken,” she says matter of fact.

I stop her and kiss her quickly before pulling her closely to my side. She slips her hand in my back pocket and I grin at her as we walk out of the theater towards my car. There are a lot more people wandering about now but Bailey and I are oblivious to everyone.

“Hey Bail-eeee!” I hear behind us just as we get to the car.

I glance at Bailey and she has a smirk on her face.

“Hey Duke-eeee,” she says chuckling lightly as we both turn around. He looks between the two of us and starts laughing.

“No way!” Duke says turning from me to Bailey. “You’re dating Reynolds!”

She turns to me confused. “You two know each other?”

“Hell yeah. He was the best quarterback Granite Falls ever had. He tore it up out there. There were NFL teams eyeing him in high school. Can you believe that? High school!” Duke says to her and then turns to me, hitting me on the shoulder. “What have you been doing, man?”

“Um, I run a software repair store in Seattle.”

“That’s cool.” He turns to Bailey, “Why the hell didn’t you tell me.” He puts his hand on his hip, waving his hand in the air, “That’s just wrong, girlfriend.”

“Oh God! Duke. Can we please go?” A statuesque red head says walking up behind him. “Oh hi, Bailey,” she says nodding at Bailey.

“Hey Tiffanie,” Bailey replies softly.

“Tiffanie, check it out. Bail-eeee is dating Hunter Reynolds. Can you believe it?” he says to her excitedly.

“Duke, honey… you know I have no idea who that is.” She turns to me, “No offense.”

“None taken,” I say with a smile and turn to Bailey. “Should we leave?”

She nods and we quickly say our goodbyes and get in the car.

“So how do you know, Duke?” I ask.

“He’s been my best friend since I moved to Granite Falls. He is awesome. His girlfriend puts up with me but she doesn’t get how we are friends. She thinks I am secretly crushing on him,” she says shaking her head. “So you played ball with him?”

“Yeah, he was younger than me. But he seemed cool.”

She nods and smiles, turning towards the window. By the time we get to her house I am antsy but I don’t want to push her. I park in front and we sit in my car. Okay… this is awkward. She is looking out the window at her house and she looks conflicted.

“You okay?” I ask, running my fingers along the back of her hair.

She nods but doesn’t turn to me. “I just don’t want the night to end.”

“It doesn’t have too,” I say, pulling her in for a kiss.

We kiss heatedly for a long time and I’d be lying if I said my body wasn’t responding to her. She lets out a soft moan and then finally pulls away from me, out of breath.

“You should head back. It’s getting late,” she finally says.

“Are you sure?”

I hope my disappointment doesn’t show as I lean over to her and kiss her lightly on the lips. “I had a great time tonight, Bailey.”

“I did too,” she whispers.

She kisses me again, running her hands in my hair, pulling, and here I go moaning shamelessly. She then brings her hands to both sides of my face and pulls back with a determined expression on her face.

“Trust me, if I could I would invite you in but the reality is that I don’t want to start something with you that I can’t finish the way I’d like to finish. I know that probably sounds weird but I hope you understand,” she says rapidly, looking me directly in the eyes.

I smile and bring my mouth back to her, kissing her passionately. She starts whimpering into my mouth. I finally shift as I stop kissing her, needing to get some distance before I get too excited. She glances down and sees the bulge in my jeans. She starts chewing on that bottom lip of hers as she gently runs her fingers along the buttons. I hiss at her touch, involuntarily arching up into her hand, wanting so much more. I reach my hand to the back of her neck, pulling her close to me. She starts kissing me again, moaning as I squeeze my hand on hers, forcing her hand to come down on me. I just need to feel her hand on my flesh, just for a moment. I quickly unbutton my jeans and her finger grazes over me. She stops kissing me, looking at what she is doing for a second before stopping her movement and pulling her hand away from me.

“I’m sorry,” she says, shaking her head and closing her eyes. “This is what I was talking about.” She sighs dramatically and kisses me chastely on the lips. “Good night, Hunter,” she says, quickly jumping out of my car.

I watch until she walks into her house and shuts the door. Blowing out a quick breath, I lay my head back against my seat, banging it softly against my headrest a few times before I put the car in drive and head back home. Well I have two hours to think about tonight. To think about how good it felt to kiss her, to feel her hand on me and knowing that she wants me, it makes me feel like I am on top of the world.

 

Chapter 5

I shift in my bed hearing the distinct ding coming from my Mac. I glance at my clock to see that it’s 7 am. What the hell! I stumble out of bed, one hand running through my hair, trying to tame the craziness and one hand at my crotch, trying to adjust my morning wood. This better be important. I run my finger over the pad on my Mac and up pops a Skype screen with my beautiful Bailey on it. I grin and hit the answer button.

“Good morning, Jobs,” she says excitedly.

“Good morning, Win,” I say grinning at her enthusiasm.

She starts smiling as she uses both of her hands to bring her hair behind her ears. She is already dressed and looks like she has been up for hours. She picks up her coffee, taking a long sip. She’s humming and kind of bouncing in her seat. I chuckle, wondering how many cups of coffee she has already had.

“Kind of early, sweetheart,” I say with a yawn.

She glances at the clock and frowns. “I’m sorry. I just thought you might be up. I’ll call you later okay.” She now seems nervous as I see her bring her hand to her mouse.

“No, wait. Don’t hang up,” I say quickly and she moves her hand down.

“I was playing on the computer this morning and thought I would try this Skype thing. But I didn’t realize you would still be sleeping,” she says sheepishly, then grins. “But aren’t you proud of me for actually figuring out how to do it?”

“Very much so. You look beautiful, Win.”

She scoffs. “You don’t have to flatter me, Jobs. I already like you,” she replies with a wink.

I grin and run my fingers through my hair. I am sure I must look dreadful. I had a hard time sleeping last night. I didn’t make it back until after midnight. I had texted her when I made it home but then lay in bed for a good two hours just thinking about everything that had transpired with Bailey as well as the implications of running into Gabriella.

“I will let you get back to sleep, Jobs. You look tired. I just…” She looks down, biting her bottom lip. “I just wanted to apologize again for last night. That’s not how I wanted our night to end.”

“It’s okay. We have plenty of time to be intimate.”

She grins as she moves her lips to the screen and kisses it. “I’ll call you later.”

I smile but before I can say or do anything else she is gone. I stare at the screen for a few seconds and then rub my hands over my eyes, yawning widely. I walk back to the comfort of my nice warm bed, crawling underneath the covers. I fall back to sleep with a smile on my face, thinking of Bailey.

~*~*~*~*~

I am already at the store when Gerald walks in on Monday morning. He glances at me and arches his brow before setting his laptop down on his desk. He stares at me for a moment before casually strolling over to my station. He then leans against the counter, a knowing smile on his face.

“So… how was your weekend?” he asks, taking a sip of his coffee.

I lean back in my chair, a smile spreading from ear to ear. “Bailey is everything I could ever want. We had a great time on Saturday and then we talked all day Sunday. It was perfect!”

“That’s great, man. You look extremely… happy,” he says with a chuckle.

“I am Gerald. Damn… I’m happier than I have ever been in my entire life,” I say with a grin and then I remember about Duke. “Hey, you’ll never guess who she’s friends with.” I still can’t believe it myself.

He shrugs. “I don’t know… Bill Gates?” He then smirks when I give him a dirty ass look.

“No idiot! Duke.” When he shrugs his shoulders again, I sigh, “Remember, our senior year and I told you about that sophomore right tackle that made varsity and was always laughing and making jokes with everyone?”

“I vaguely remember that.” He pauses for a minute, “Wait… was he that huge guy that followed you around all the time like he wanted an autograph or something,” he says laughing.

“Yeah, that’s him. He was cool though. She says they have been ‘best’ friends since high school.”

“Huh! Small world. Why are you here so early anyway?”

I motion towards my computer. “I was behind on Mr. Meyer’s programming so I got here early to work on it. He wants it by Wednesday.”

He nods and then comes around to look at what I’m working on.

“That looks good.” He taps my screen. “Why is this so small?”

I frown. “I am working on that.” I run my hand through my hair flustered. “There’s an error in the source code. I was getting ready to run my debugging program to see if I can flush it out.”

“Do you want me to look at it?”

I look at him and I know my brows must be furrowed because he steps back and raises his hands, walking away, a grin on his face. I don’t need his help on this. I just need to focus on what I’m doing and not Bailey. But just as that thought crosses my mind my phone buzzes and I smirk, picking it up.

B: Hey Jobs…you OWN that Meyers program thingy.

I smile. She had asked me yesterday what I was working on and I told her I was having trouble with the code for this program I am developing for a client and that I wasn’t sure where the error was coming from. I started explaining what I was doing and I could tell she was trying to be supportive but she really had no clue what I was talking about. So I put her out of her misery and changed the subject. My phone buzzes again and I grin.

B: Have a great day. I’ll talk to you later.

I text her back and then get back to work on the program, praying no one comes in so I can just get it done. I have never been late on a deadline and certainly never been thwarted by ANY program glitch. I will figure this out! And… Four hours and two pots of coffee later I push my chair back and raise my hands shouting YES! over and over as I bounce around the room like an idiot pumping my fists in the air.

“I take it you figured out the problem?” Gerald asks, glancing over at me for a second before turning back to his work.

“Yeah.” I stop my theatrics, laughing.

I watch him for a moment and then look down, contemplating if I should even bring this up with him. I need to talk to someone and Gerald was there through the whole thing. That’s both good and bad.

“Gerald,” I say reluctantly.

He looks over to me again. “What’s wrong?” he asks, seeing the concern on my face.

“I saw Gabriella on Saturday. She approached Bailey and me.”

His face twists in anger. “What did that bitch want?”

I stare at him for a moment. Gerald never uses that term. He was raised to respect women but he abhors Gabriella. He said she was a gold digging whore who saw me as a meal ticket. I didn’t see it that way but apparently Gerald was a little more intuitive than I was. He tried to talk me out of going out with her from the beginning but damn, she was the prettiest and most popular girl in school and she wanted me, well, she wanted what she thought I could provide for her. My mind immediately goes to our break up and how difficult that was. Man, she really did a number on me.

“Hunter!” Gerald shouts, bringing me out of my thoughts. “What did that bitch want?”

I shake my head. “Nothing. Just to say hi, I guess.”

“How did Bailey respond?” he inquires curiously.

“She was perfect. She didn’t let it bother her at all.”

“And you? Did you let it bother you?” he practically growls.

I shake my head. “No, not really.”

“Hunter! She broke up with you in a damn hospital and had your shit sent to your parents’ house. What kind of heartless bitch does that?” He scowls. “Don’t let her in your head, Hunter. You were depressed for months over that skank. She’s not worth it. Besides, you have a good thing with Bailey.”

“I know I do and Bailey isn’t anything like her. I don’t know why I brought it up. It was just weird seeing her,” I say, flustered.

He watches me for a moment and then turns back around, mumbling and cursing under his breath. Gabriella has always been the only woman that has elicited anger and cursing out of him. I guess I don’t blame him. I was a mess after she left me and since he was my best friend he got the brunt of my melancholy. It’s funny how you find out who your true friends are when something bad happens. All those guys I played football with. GONE! All those people I used to party with that told me how cool I was. GONE! And the girl who told me that she would love me forever. GONE! But my best friend remained. My head has been spinning for hours and by the time I get home I am emotionally and physically drained and I end up falling into a fitful sleep on the couch.

I am startled awake by the sound of my phone buzzing. I look around, trying to get my bearings. The buzzing stops and I run my fingers through my hair. Why the hell am I even thinking about Gabriella? It’s not like I still love her. I spent a year in therapy letting that whole situation go and getting my shit together. I am happy with my life, with my job, with Bailey. I know we just started dating but being with her feels so right. I pick up my phone and see I missed a couple of texts from her. I stand up and walk into my bedroom where my Mac is. I pull up Skype, seeing I also missed a few calls from her. Damn it! I hit her number quickly and see her within seconds.

“Hey, Jobs,” she says, looking at me with concern. “Are you okay? I have been trying to reach you.”

“Yeah. I’m sorry, Win. I just had a weird day and crashed on the couch,” I say running my hands through my hair.

“Weird, huh? Want to talk about it?” she asks cocking her brow.

“Just ghost’s coming out to haunt. It’s okay… I’m okay.”

She is now eyeing me curiously. After a few moments she leans back, a frown on her face. She looks down and I see her take a deep breath, shaking her head. She mumbles something but I can’t quite make out what she’s saying.

“I can’t hear you, Win.”

She looks up at me and it looks like she might cry. Now, I really feel like shit.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, wishing she was here so I could hold her.

“This ghost… Does her name happen to be Gabriella?”

Now it’s my turn to lean back. Shit! She is too damn perceptive. What do I say? If I say yes, will she think I still care about Gabriella? Worse yet, will she think that I want to be with Gabriella instead of her? If I say no then I will be lying to her and I don’t want to start out our relationship with a lie. I nervously rack my hair with my hands.

“Why would you think that?” I ask flustered.

“Duke said you two were inseparable. He was actually surprised that you guys never got married.”

Well, I’m not sure what to say to that so I say nothing. My heart breaks when I see the look of sadness on her face. She runs her hand through her hair, looking down.

“Hey Jobs, it’s cool,” she says glancing at the clock and I swear I see tears on her face. She takes a deep breath, steadying herself. “It’s getting late. I will talk to you later.”

“WAIT! Don’t hang up…” She stops and looks at me. Yeah, there are definitely tears in her eyes. “Yes, seeing Gabriella has made me think about her but not in a romantic way. I was with her for three years but when I got injured she left me. Apparently being with a computer geek wasn’t nearly as exciting as being with a possible Heisman Trophy winner and NFL rookie of the year.”

I see Bailey scowl and mouth the word bitch under her breath and think about Gerald’s response earlier today. I reach my hand to the screen, letting my fingers touch it.

“I wasn’t thinking that I miss her or even want her because I don’t. I only want you but I was remembering what it was like being with her, how it ended and it solidified for me just how different it is with you and how wrong it actually was with her.”

She smiles and reaches her hand to her screen, touching my fingertips with hers.

“Are you sure, Jobs? She is quite beautiful. I…” I start shaking my head and bring my finger to my lips and she stops talking.

“You are truly the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, both inside and out,” I say smiling. “Let’s not talk about Gabriella. She’s nothing. I want to hear about you and your day.”

She smiles and nods. We spend the next hour talking about her adventures at EHS. By the time we hang up I am feeling so good. She is like an elixir to my soul. I can’t believe that I ever thought Gabriella was the one for me.

 

Chapter 6

The rest of the week seemed to drag on forever. In our many talks, Bailey and I decided that this weekend would be it. She is coming up after her last class today and will be spending the entire weekend with me. I can’t wait!

I have cleaned and re-cleaned my apartment several times already. I made sure we had plenty of food in the house so we didn’t have to leave if we didn’t want to. I rented some movies just in case she wants to watch something and I have even made a playlist specific for us. I am seriously nervous but I don’t know why. I have never had a problem pleasing a woman but hell, Bailey is different. I want to be everything for her. I want to make sure that when we make love the experience will erase any other man she has ever been with from her memory. Her knock breaks me out of my thoughts.

I open the door to the most astonishing woman I have ever seen and when she smiles my head spins and I suddenly feel light headed. I pull her to me, kissing her passionately as our tongues entwine with one another. I love the feel of her lips against mine, the way her hand always creeps up the nape of my neck until it is completely enmeshed in my hair, pulling on it lightly, and mostly I love the little whimpers she makes as our tongues dance with one another.

“Mmm, Hunter. Kissing you is what I miss the most when we are apart,” she whispers against my lips.

“The memory of kissing you is what keeps me going until I can see you again,” I say, placing chaste kisses on her lips and up her jaw until I am nuzzling into her hair. God, her hair smells so good, like some kind of spring garden just after it rains.

“Come, let’s eat,” I say, taking her hand in mine and leading her to the dining room.

“Did you cook?” she asks curiously.

I laugh. “No, cooking is definitely not one of my strong suits but Whitney, Gerald’s girlfriend, made us a meal.”

After eating our dinner, we moved to the living room. I motion for her to come to my lap which she does willingly. I hold her closely, kissing her softly, gently running my fingers up over her breasts.

“Hunter… I want you so much,” she says as she moves her fingers up and down the buttons of my shirt, resting her fingers in the V where my shirt is already unbuttoned.

“I want you too, Win,” I say as she pulls me by my shirt so that she can kiss me again.

She is gently swaying her hips against me as she moves her tongue effortlessly against mine. I don’t want our first time to be on the couch so I take her in my arms, carrying her bridal style to the bedroom, laying her gently on top of the bed. I take the bottom of her shirt in my hand, pulling it out of her dress slacks and start to unbutton it slowly. I open her shirt, breathing in quickly as my fingers trace the outline of her lacy bra and then moving down across her stomach and resting them on the top button of her pants.

“Bailey, are you sure?” I know it’s cliché but I need to make sure this is what she wants as well.

“Yes, please,” she says sitting up on her knees, moving her hands to my pants, unbuckling my belt. She is making fast work of my pants and zipper and I can feel my breath hitch.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to use a condom?” I whisper.

“I’m on the shot, we’ve both been tested. What would be the point?” she asks breathless.

I just nod because words escape me as she slips her hand inside my pants. My knees nearly buckle at the feel of her small hand on me. When I see the look of want in her eyes I have to suppress the growl that’s dying to come out. We both start throwing our clothes off as she moves to the center of the bed, completely naked, looking like a muse or goddess just waiting to be captured by the one she loves.

I move over her body kissing up her stomach, taking her perfect breast in my mouth and moaning as her hand creeps into my hair. God, I really do love that! I bring my mouth to her other breast before coming back to her mouth. I slip my tongue around hers as I place my hand down between us, guiding myself to her entrance. We break our kiss, and she nods. We both let out breathy gasps as we experience the sensation of utter bliss as I enter her for the first time.

She feels phenomenal as I take in her expressions of pure ecstasy, watching as her body trembles below me. She runs her hands down my back and start moving faster, bringing my mouth back to hers and kissing her with purpose.

“Oh God! Hunter…” she stutters against my eager mouth.

Our breathing is becoming ragged and irregular as we both climb dangerously close to the edge. I want desperately to watch her and pull away slightly just as her back arches and her eyes close tightly. She starts whimpering and panting my name as her face contorts in pleasure, her climax taking her with my release following closely behind hers.

“Bailey,” I whisper as my body stills above her.

We are still breathing heavily as I finally rolling off of her. She quickly moves closer to me, wrapping her arms around me and holding me tightly. I am just savoring the feel of her body so close to mine, knowing that this is where I want her to always be. And I am faced with the stark realization that in all the years I was with Gabriella I never once felt the way I feel right now with Bailey.

 

Chapter 7

I slowly open my eyes to the most beautiful sight imaginable. Bailey is on top of me, her eyes closed, dark hair falling in her face as she sucks on her bottom lip. I wasn’t actually sure I was awake at first because I was having a wonderfully erotic dream of her so when I actually felt her pn top of me I was a bit shocked.

“Mmm, Bailey.”

She starts whimpering and opens her eyes revealing this dazed and euphoric look. My heart rate picks up, watching her as she increases her pace, letting her head fall back. She lets out a gasp and looks up at me with fire in her eyes. We make love passionately and when my hips finally drop on the bed, I close my eyes, thinking how amazing that was to wake up with her like this. Not even a minute later I feel her hair tickling my chest before she lays her forehead on me. We are both still trying to catch our breath as we separate from one another. She scoots really close to me and I wrap my arms around her tightly, running my hands into the back of her hair.

“Mmm, Win… That was… Beyond words,” I whisper into her hair, “Can you wake me up like that all the time?” I say kissing the top of her head.

“You got it, Jobs,” she giggles as she kisses my chest.

“Are you hungry, sweetheart?” I ask, knowing I am starving.

She bites down on my chest and then chuckles when I scream out. Okay, I didn’t really scream but I definitely yelped.

“Just for you,” she says all seductive and sexy and I immediately want her again.

“Hmm, is that so?” I say moving her on her back.

I start kissing down her neck and along her collarbone. I grin up at her and then kiss her tenderly, resting my head on her breasts as she gently caresses my scalp. It is probably the sweetest and most tender thing anyone has ever done for me and I am going to savor every moment of it. Unfortunately, my traitorous stomach has other plans as it starts growling, loudly I might add, ruining this beautiful moment. I sigh and she snickers, causing my head to bounce around on her which of course makes us both laugh even more.

“Let’s eat, Win. I’m really hungry.” I look up to see her smirking.

“Okay, Jobs, feed me,” she says winking, her face flushed from our love making as well as our laughter.

Hmm, that is a really loaded statement and I have all sorts of visuals in my head. I close my eyes for a second and try to remember that I am actually starving and require some form of sustenance because right now I just want to make love to her again. She laughs and pushes me off of her.

“Come on, Jobs, get your mind out of the gutter,” she says standing up, stretching.

She picks up the t-shirt I was wearing last night and slips it over her head and snatches her panties from the floor. I can’t move. She is just so damn beautiful and sexy. When she gets to the door she looks over her shoulder and winks at me as she steps through, leaving me lying in the bed with my mouth wide open. I just shake my head and slip out of the bed, grabbing a pair of pajama pants. I don’t need a shirt.

I pass my Mac, not even bothering to check my email which is actually kind of odd but the only thought I have is to get things ready for Bailey so I head into the kitchen. By the time she comes out of the bathroom I already have the coffee on and an assortment of muffins, scones and coffee cakes from Macrina’s laid out for her choosing. I wasn’t sure what she would want so I just got one of each. Yeah, there is no way the two of us are going to eat all of this. She walks over to the counter and bends down, holding her hair back with both of her hands while smelling the pastries. A larger than life smile creeps over her face as she looks up at me. Yeah, that was a good call Reynolds.

“This is so perfect! You get an A+ for breakfast.”

I grin and lean over the counter, kissing her on the tip of her nose. “Just for breakfast?”

She blushes and kisses me lightly on the mouth. “Well, you get an A+ for that as well.”

“Mmm, I like scoring with the teacher,” I whisper against her lips.

She grins. “Well, there will be another test later so you will have another opportunity to excel,” she says as she pulls my bottom lip into her mouth, sucking on it and then letting it go, kissing me again.

“Well, maybe I should review, just so I’m prepared,” I say slipping my tongue into her mouth. She quickly moves her hand into my hair, deepening our kiss. After several minutes she pulls away from me, smirking.

“You are very distracting, Mr. Reynolds,” she says running her fingers along my jawline.

“I could say the same thing about you,” I say, kissing the palm of her hand.

She grins and then steps back, snatching a morning glory muffin and the lemon lavender coffeecake. She definitely has a thing for lemons. I grab my Italian plum roll and a cherry almond scone and come around the counter setting them on the table before heading to the bathroom. When I come back out she is already done with her lemon cake and has just started on her muffin. I just smile; my girl was definitely hungry as well.

“So… I never asked you about this date you cancelled to be with me that first time,” I say sitting down, devouring half of my scone in one bite.

She stops chewing and looks over at me. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have brought it up. “I’m sorry, Win. You don’t need to answer that.” Shit! But I really want her to answer that. Is there someone in Everett that I should be worried about?

She scoots her legs up on the chair, taking a bite out of her muffin. “Um, it was nothing. A mistake on my part,” she says, covering her mouth and then swallowing.

“A mistake, huh?”

She watches me for a minute, looking contemplative. “An old boyfriend of mine was back in town and he wanted to take me out, for old time’s sake. It had been awhile since I had seen him so I thought why not but it was a mistake,” she says popping another piece of muffin in her mouth.

“Why was it a mistake?”

She swallows and rolls her eyes before talking again, “Because he is still a self-absorbed asshole who thinks way too highly of himself. He called me that Sunday being a total jerk about me cancelling but I don’t know. I didn’t really care. I was too angry at myself for not getting your contact info so I was pretty rude to him,” she says shrugging.

I smile but I am actually pissed that this asshole called her the next day giving her a hard time. Now, I don’t want to go all cavemen or anything but I really feel like kicking this guy’s ass. How dare he do that shit!

“So… he hassled you?” I ask trying to contain my anger.

She glances at me and my body posture and then sets the piece of muffin down. “Look, Jobs, Craig and I dated for about a year. He cheated on me a few times and I don’t know why I decided to give him another chance. He was pissed that I cancelled on him and then like I said I was really rude to him. But you know what? He hasn’t tried to call me since that Sunday. I don’t even think he is still in town. I think he was just hoping to get a little action which was so not going to happen. I should have never said yes in the first place,” she says matter of fact, picking up the piece of muffin she set down and popping it into her mouth.

Okay, I’m not sure if what she is saying is supposed to make me feel better because it really doesn’t. Who the hell is this guy? I mean what kind of jerk would A) cheat on the most beautiful girl on the planet and B) have the audacity to think she would just be an easy lay for him after the fact. Now I really want to kick his ass.

“Hey maybe we should hook him up with your ex Gabriella and they can screw each other over,” she says laughing as she gets up, walking over to the coffee pot.

I glance at her and shake my head before finally chuckling lightly. “Well, unless he has money, Gabriella wouldn’t give him the time of day.”

“Hmm, well I guess Craig is out of luck then.”

She opens my cupboard and grabs a couple of mugs out of it. Damn she really looks perfect walking around my kitchen with just her panties and MY t-shirt on. It’s like that’s exactly where she was always supposed to be. She brings the mugs over to the table along with the pot of coffee.

“You made me the good stuff. I feel so special, Jobs,” she says kissing my forehead and then pouring some coffee into both of our mugs.

I set the coffee pot down and bring her between my legs, holding onto her waist, and nuzzling my nose against her stomach. “You are special.”

She smiles widely and pulls her hair behind her ears. “Flattery will get you absolutely everywhere, Mr. Reynolds.”

She brings her mouth to mine and moves to straddle my hips, never breaking our kiss. After several minutes she gets up and kisses me lightly on the lips before walking back to the other side of the table and proceeds to eat and all I can think about is making love to her again.

~*~*~*~*~

We spend most of Saturday in bed. Oh, we get up to eat lunch and dinner and take care of bodily functioning. We even watched a couple of movies in bed but the reality is we have not been able to get enough of each other. By Sunday morning we are both melancholy as we eat some of the pastries left over from yesterday. I already miss her and she hasn’t even left yet. She has barely touched her muffin but keeps looking at it like it has some kind of answers.

“You okay, Win? You’re really quiet,” I ask, knowing in my heart that she feels like I do right now.

“Yeah, I just hate to leave. It’s going to be a long week. I wish we lived closer to each other,” she says taking a sip of her coffee.

“I know. I feel the same way. I want to see you every day.”

She looks up and smiles before walking over to me and straddling my lap. She gives me a soft kiss which I immediately deepen. My hands move all over her body and end entangled in her hair. Maybe one more time before she has to leave. As she shifts her body, I groan. Yes, definitely one more time before she has to go.

 

Chapter 8

“What’s the matter?” Gerald asks concerned.

“Huh?” I look up from my computer which, for some reason holds absolutely no meaning for me right now.

“What’s wrong with you? You have been real quiet the last few days and now you’ve been staring at the same screen for almost an hour. So… what gives? Did you and Bailey get into a fight or something?”

I swallow and just stare at him. I don’t know how to describe what I am feeling. I am in love with Bailey. Of this I am certain but I’m also worried. I have a tendency to jump… heart first, head later and that hasn’t seemed to bode well for me in the past. But it feels so different with Bailey, like my world aligned the day she stumbled into the store. It was as if all the heartache I had experienced before meeting her got swallowed up by her presence. She took that away and made me whole again. And I’ll never be able to go back to the way it was before we met, nor do I want to.

“I’m in love with Bailey.”

He smiles. “And that’s a problem?”

“No… I don’t know. I have only really told Gabriella I loved her and then I thought maybe I was falling for Katlyn and that went over so well!”

He rolls his eyes. “What’s your point?”

“My point is… what if I am jumping the gun here with Bailey.”

And just like that my heart constricts and I lose my breath just at the mere thought that maybe we weren’t meant to be. No… that can’t be. God! I feel like someone threw one of those wrecking balls in the middle of my chest.

“I just don’t want to blow it but really I don’t know a lot about her. Why she likes certain things.” I take a deep breath and look at him. “Or what she wants to do with her life. It’s just that… well… I don’t know. I was practically living with Katlyn after knowing her a week and I know if Bailey lived closer I would have suggested it already. I think about her all the time and I’m not even sure if the feelings are mutual.”

He stares at me for a while, watching me place my head against my desk and bring my hands into my hair. I just wish I knew how she felt about me. If this is just something fun for her I am so screwed. Katlyn just used me to get back with her ex. I know Bailey has an ex in the wings plus someone that she dated at the school who gets to see her every day. I am sure he still wants her, whoever he is. I would. Gerald comes up behind me and thumps the back of my head, essentially getting my attention and bringing me out of my miserable thoughts at the same time.

“Well, I will agree that Katlyn was definitely a mistake but, ya know, it seems different with Bailey. Don’t you think?”

“Yeah… It is…And this weekend was beyond my wildest dreams but we didn’t really talk about much. We were sort of… in another world,” I say, blushing as I remember every single moment of our time together.

“Well, maybe you need to talk to her about shit before you… you know… start having hot sex,” he says arching his brow and smirking.

I smile. “That’s good advice, Dr. Phil. I’ll give it some consideration,” I say, shaking my head and laughing.

“You do that, son,” he says, doing his best Dr. Phil imitation but then doubles over in laughter.

After we have laughed for several minutes he gets a serious expression on his face, “Hunter… you have always worried way too much about things, especially girls. And I’m convinced that it’s because basically you’re a geek in a fucking Greek God’s body.” He uses air quotes to say Greek God and then chuckles before continuing, “Which is so unfair by the way.” I roll my eyes at him. “So… you could never handle all the attention you got once you started playing ball and became the guy everyone wanted to be with.”

Now my face transforms into a full on frown, complete with furrowed brows, pursed lips, and tense jaw as I give him what I hope is a dirty look. He starts bobbing his head wildly, nodding and laughing some more. Apparently my dirty look is not at all disturbing. I might need to work on that.

“Oh Hunter, that is very true. A beautiful woman looks at you and you are already planning your wedding before you even know if she can count to 10, let alone read.”

I sigh and then laugh as I run my hand through my hair, knowing there is some definite truth to what he is saying. “Alright, alright, asshole. Maybe I am over thinking this. I will talk to Bailey this weekend. I feel so good with her. Unlike anything ever before and it sort of scares me. I need this to work out.”

“Love is scary man, but seriously, don’t put so much pressure on this. If it is supposed to work then it will, and besides, you know Whitney will let you know if Bailey is legit or not.” He grins and then adds, “But she has already told me that she ‘knows’ that you two are meant to be.” Once again with the air quotes. What is it with him today and air quotes?

We both roll our eyes and laugh. Whitney has always believed that she is clairvoyant or something like that. Now granted she is usually right about the relationship stuff. She had told Gerald that she didn’t think Katlyn was right for me and the few dates I have been on since did not pass Whitney’s muster. I like to tease her about her sixth sense but usually she is spot on and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want her seal of approval on me and Bailey.

“So what exactly does Whitney have planned for the weekend? I want Friday night with Bailey but we could do something Saturday as long as it doesn’t take all night.” I smile in anticipation of being able to hold Bailey again.

“I don’t know. The last I heard, Whitney wants to do the trendy Seattle thing, take her to eat at the Space Needle and then maybe go listen to some music.”

Hmmm, that means we have to dress up a bit.

“Well, I am actually pretty sure about the restaurant but I think it’s the band she hasn’t confirmed yet. All I know is that she is still deciding wardrobe. Hell, she nearly decked me when I told her I didn’t think it really mattered what she wore because Bailey was sleeping with you and not her.”

“Yeah, I’m sure that went over really well,” I say, laughing as I imagine Whitney’s tiny little body beating the crap out of him.

He shakes his head, frowning. “She was on a rant for a good hour.”

I grin. “Serves you right. You know better. Bailey asked me yesterday what she should pack. What should I tell her?”

“Hell, what was it Whitney said to me…” Gerald says contemplative, tapping his fingers against his temples as if that would help him remember. “Oh yeah, something about semi-formal. What the hell does that mean, anyway?”

“I have no idea but I will let Bailey know when I talk to her later.”

“Cool. Now quit worrying about everything,” he says, smacking me on the back before going to his station to work on a project.

I nod and think about what I need to do this weekend. I can’t just get caught up with making love to her. We need to talk about things. The more I had thought about Craig, the more concerned I became about why he was around and whether she harbored any feelings towards him or not. We have just floated on the surface of issues and have not had a serious conversation about anything of significance. I want us to work out and that can’t happen if we don’t ever talk.

~*~*~*~*~

By the time the knock comes on the door Friday evening, I’m giddy with excitement. This was the night we knew we had completely to ourselves and I couldn’t wait. The minute the door swung open she dropped her bag and practically leaped onto me while wrapping her arms around my shoulders and crashing her lips onto mine. I moan against her and lift her up while she brings her legs around my waist. I quickly kick her bag inside the room and shove the door shut with my foot. Talking is so overrated!

We are all moans and groans as I make my way to the wall for some leverage. Once I have her there I quickly unbutton her blouse. She stops kissing me and places one hand on each of my cheeks, firmly holding my face still. Her eyes are dark and wanting. Sexuality and desire are emanating from every pore of her body, and I can see that she wants me as desperately as I want her. She parts her lips just enough to trace her swollen and red lips with her tongue and I am done, just done!

“Hunter… I need you.”

I don’t mean it but I growl. I literally growl as my lips crash back onto hers. I then set her down so that I can take her dress slacks off, making sure that I never remove my mouth from hers. I quickly push both her slacks and panties off while her fingers are frantically working on the buttons of my jeans.

“I’ve missed you… so much…” I mumble, barely audible as my tongue continues to whip around inside of her mouth.

“Hunter…” Is all she says before my mouth consumes hers completely.

She feels so good and I know she likes what I am doing because she is letting out those sexy whimpering noises that make me go insane. Our lovemaking becomes frantic and just like that she screams out as she throws her head back, hitting it against the wall. I want to make sure she’s okay but at that moment I can’t seem to concentrate on anything but what I’m doing. After several more minutes, my brain kicks into gear and I realize that she might actually be hurt.

“Are you okay Win?” I ask, swallowing hard.

“Uhhhh Huhhhh…” She mumbles with her eyes still closed, leaning against the wall.

I grin and lift her chin up. “You sure about that? You did kind of hit your head… hard.”

“Ya know, Jobs I didn’t see you stopping to help me or anything, either… that was real gallant of you,” she says laughing as she runs her fingers up the nape of my neck and into my hair.

“I couldn’t, baby. It was too late at that point,” I say bringing my mouth to hers again.

“That was something else,” she says when I pull away from her slightly, gazing at this beautiful woman before me, all flushed with sweat.

She brings her bottom lip into her mouth and gently starts running her fingertips along my jaw. I kiss her again, slow and sensual, nothing at all like the frenzy that occurred just a few minutes ago. Our hands begin to lightly run over each other as I lift her up and carry her to the couch, sitting us down and laying her across my lap. We continue to kiss and caress one another until the doorbell rings, announcing the arrival of our food. But even then I don’t want to stop. She finally moves her mouth away from my lips when the knock gets a little louder. She is grinning as she gets up and locates her clothes near the door.

“Just a minute,” I shout out for the benefit of the food delivery guy.

I come up behind her and pull her close to me again. She giggles as she walks away from me, smacking my backside as she goes by. I turn to her, wanting her yet again. Who needs food? She stops and turns around placing her hands on her hips and then motions towards the door. I glance at the door and then back at her in some kind of trance. Now she smiles widely as she runs her hand over her stomach in a circular manner, indicating that she is hungry and I can’t help but laugh. I quickly pull on my jeans and turn back to the door to get our food. As we settle in to eat, I figure now is as good a time as any to bring up a question that has been on my mind for a while now.

“So… what’s the deal with Craig?”

She watches me and frowns. “What do you mean?”

I kind of eye her over my food which causes her to sigh.

“Hunter, I feel nothing for Craig. Why would you ask about him? I mean, is this related to Gabriella?”

“No, it has nothing to do with Gabriella…” I pause trying to figure out how to explain this. “I… I guess I’m just concerned about what kind of relationship you two had. It seems like you guys weren’t together for that long but I don’t know. He came around and you were willing to go out with him again, to give him another chance. It’s just…” I take a deep breath. “It’s just that I’ve been in a situation where someone used me to get back with someone else. I really liked her and then found her with him, you know… having sex. It wasn’t that big of a deal to her but I was really hurt. I haven’t been very lucky on the dating front.”

She is watching me and then finally sighs.

“Hunter, I have no desire to be with anyone else and I don’t have feelings for Craig. Against my better judgment, I let Craig talk me into a date but like I said before, it was a mistake. I would never hurt you like that girl did.” Then she shakes her head, frowning. “I can’t believe someone would use you like that.” I watch as her expression goes from sadness and despair to one of mischief. She grins and then pulls that bottom lip into her mouth. “Maybe you are just too nice and need to channel your inner bastard.”

I stare at her for a minute and then grin. “Inner bastard, huh?” I say, laughing slightly before continuing, “Well… Gerald told me that I have no game because I was a nerd that all of a sudden became popular and then dated the girl everyone wanted to go out with so I guess I don’t really have an inner bastard,” I say with a shrug.

“So you were an undercover nerd, huh?” she asks brightly. “That makes sense though because when I talked to Duke about you he said you were really cool and that you knew all kinds of things about computers. He couldn’t stop talking about how you played video games with him and told him all the cheats. You were his senior mentor, weren’t you?”

I smile and nod. “Yeah, he followed me around a lot. It annoyed Gabriella.”

Bailey rolls her eyes and then winks. “Of course he also said that girls used to throw their panties at you,” she says wagging her brows.

Oh God! I can’t believe he told her that and I can feel my face flush red.

“Technically that only happened once. It was when we won the championship game and some girl took her panties off when we were coming off the field and threw them at me. Gabriella was so pissed. She blamed me for it, like I had control over what that girl did. I didn’t even know her.”

“That really happened? I thought Duke was just messing with me.”

“Yeah, it happened. I was so embarrassed and then Gabriella was upset all night. We ended up leaving the after party early because everyone kept talking about it.”

“And you say you weren’t popular in high school? I find that so hard to believe, Mr. Reynolds.”

I laugh. “The first year of school no one really knew me except for Gerald. Then after my freshman year I got my eyes fixed so I didn’t need to wear glasses anymore and then I sort of hit puberty and just really shot up. The football coach saw me tossing a football in PE and told me to try out for the team. I ended up being the backup quarterback my sophomore year and then when Jim graduated the next year I became the starter. That year was the first year we made the playoffs and then my senior year we won it all. I was offered a full scholarship to USC and UW but I wanted to stay local so I went to UW. I was the back up my first year there and then the starter my second year but…” I take a bite of food and then swallow, “but I took a bad hit in a game against USC and jacked up my shoulder.”

She is watching me as I take another bite of my dinner. I almost don’t hear her when she starts talking again.

“Do you ever regret playing?”

“No, not at all. But football wasn’t important to me. It was important to everyone else. I was content being a computer nerd.”

“Well, you have got to be the sexiest damn computer nerd I have ever seen,” she says with a giggle and then gets a serious expression on her face. “Do you still have, um, any of your old stuff?”

I bring my brows together in confusion. What is she talking about? “What old stuff?”

“You know stuff from when you were a nerd?”

I start laughing. “You want me to dress up as a nerd for you?” I continue to laugh until I see the look in her eyes and realize that that’s exactly what she wants.

“Oh, baby. I seriously have a thing for nerds. Will you dress up for me?” she asks, batting her lashes at me and then starts giggling.

“You know, Win, this whole giggling thing you are doing right now is not very encouraging,” I say laughing. “And what are you going to be? The hot unattainable girl I am attracted to that is mean to me?”

“See, you are already really good at this,” she says, winking, but then sadness crosses over her face. “Did girls really treat you like that?”

I laugh. “Yeah, pretty much but it wasn’t bad in college. The reality is, I am not that interesting to most girls, I mean aside from the pretty face.” I say the last part mockingly, moving my face from side to side. But when I look at her she isn’t laughing.

“That’s not true. I think you are very interesting. The pretty face is just a fabulous perk,” she says grinning. She then takes a deep breath, closing her eyes briefly before opening them back up. “You don’t have to dress up. I don’t want to bring up bad memories for you.”

“No, I want to,” I say smiling at her. “After dinner, okay?”

 

Chapter 9

I wake up alone. Why am I alone? I sit up quickly and look at the clock. It’s 9:40 am. I am a little disoriented until I hear movement coming from the kitchen. I lay back for a second and just smile, breathing in the sweet aroma of… bacon? That’s odd because I know that I don’t have any food in my house. I was planning on taking her out for breakfast today but…damn! I think she is cooking. I jump out of bed, bypassing my Mac and praying that I am actually going to get a real, homemade breakfast this morning. When I walk into the dining room, I see Bailey flipping eggs in a pan and shaking that fine ass of hers. She is humming but there isn’t any music on and I don’t see any ear buds in her ears. She must sense that she is being watched because she glances over her shoulder and smiles.

“Over easy?” she says seductively as she runs her tongue along her moist, red lips that I want to taste right now.

I stare at her, my mouth agape. What did she ask me? I feel myself start to come to life as I visualize having sex with her… right there in the kitchen, lifting her up on the counter…

“JOBS!” she says loudly as she snaps her fingers at me.

I shake my head and blink a couple of times, barely coming out of my Bailey induced haze.

“You’re cooking?” THAT… is my brilliant response.

She grins. “Wow, handsome and smart. I reeled in a keeper.” She winks and then blows me a kiss. “Now, how do you like your eggs?”

“Umm, over easy is good.”

“Why don’t you go sit down, Jobs? It will be ready soon,” she says with a smile before turning back around and bopping to some music that only she hears.

I don’t sit down though. I just watch her move about the kitchen as she prepares breakfast. Gabriella never cooked for me. In fact, no one has ever cooked for me but my mom, and Whitney every once in a while when she feels sorry for me and my lack of culinary skills. When Bailey is done, she prepares two plates filled with eggs, bacon, perfectly golden hash browns and toast with some sort of preserves on it. She smiles and motions for me to go to the table and this time I do. She sets one plate down in front of where she will be sitting and then the other in front of me but before sitting down she gives me a long, sensual, toe curling kiss. If I was a Disney character I would probably be that goofy rabbit in Bambi. You know the one that is thumping his foot at lightning speed when the female rabbit kisses him. Yep… that’s definitely me. When she is done, she sighs deeply and walks back to the kitchen to grab the coffee pot while I sit there trying to come back to planet earth.

“When did you go to the store?” I finally say after I’m able to form a coherent thought.

“Early. I am so used to getting up at the crack of dawn that it’s hard to sleep in,” she says pouring me a cup of coffee and then one for herself.

“You could have woken me up,” I say, blushing slightly as I remember her fabulous wakeup call the last time she spent the weekend here.

She grins mischievously. “What makes you think I didn’t?”

I quickly stop chewing and look at her incredulously. NO! There is no way, absolutely no way I could have slept through anything Bailey could have done to me. Could I? Oh God! Please tell me I didn’t sleep through some mind blowing sex with Bailey.

“I’m just kidding, Jobs.” She laughs and takes a sip of her coffee. “When I woke up you were sleeping so peacefully and I didn’t want to disturb you so I thought, ‘hey, I’ll make him breakfast’ except I didn’t realize you would have nothing to cook.” She arches her brow for emphasis. “So I went to the market and picked up a couple of things.”

“Thank you. I mean for breakfast. You could have woken me up though. I rather enjoyed the last time you did.”

“I enjoyed that too.” She takes a deep breath. “Will we have time for a little fun before the inquisition?”

I start laughing. “Win, it’s not an inquisition. Gerald has been my best friend since the 7th grade and Whitney is a sweetheart. They will both adore you.”

She gives me a crooked smile and then pulls her bottom lip into her mouth. I notice she does that a lot, especially when she is nervous. Finally, she nods and we both begin eating our food. I’m not going to lie. This was probably the best breakfast I have ever had. Not that it was fancy or anything but it was made for me by my Bailey and I can’t help but feel loved.

~*~*~*~*~

After breakfast we had made love… twice. We weren’t meeting Whitney and Gerald until six tonight so we had plenty of time to just hang out before we had to get ready. After making love she had asked if I wanted to watch a movie she had brought with her. She had told me that she loved all those indie flicks that no one has ever seen. She stated they are usually more real than any of the blockbusters that come out. I didn’t really care what we did as long as we did it together.

I glance at my watch, 4:58. I am already dressed and ready to go. I don’t have a lot of suits but she had told me she was wearing a blue dress so I decided on my dark blue suit with a black dress shirt and black tie. When I hear the bathroom door open I turn around and out steps the most exquisite creature to have ever existed. She is wearing a long sleeved blue dress made out of what looks like lace, showing just a small amount of skin underneath with heels that seem to match the color perfectly. Her hair is pulled back in some sort of clip that exposes her long and sensuous neck while a few loose tendrils fall around her face. My God, she is a vision.

“Mmm, Jobs, you clean up pretty good,” she says, running her fingers along my tie, resting them at the top button of my jacket.

“You are breathtaking,” I whisper to her as I kiss her gently on the forehead, allowing my lips to linger against her soft skin.

She steps closer to me, unbuttoning my jacket and slipping her hands around my waist, locking her fingers against my back. I run my fingertips down the lacy material of her dress, marveling at the texture. The design almost feels like velvet and yet I can still feel parts of her smooth skin underneath. With her heels on she reaches past my shoulders easily and rests her head against me, breathing in slowly, her soft breaths making the skin on my neck tingle. She feels so right in my arms and I can feel the words I want to say just on the tip of my tongue, I love you. I could say it so easily, a gentle whisper is all it would take and just as I decide to do it my cell phone rings, startling us both and causing her to jump.

She smacks my chest. “Damn it, Jobs! That scared the shit out of me!”

I laugh and pull her closer to me again, squeezing her tightly before smiling down at her. “We better go. I am sure that was Whitney’s reminder call.”

She nods and walks over to the counter and picks up her purse, quickly shifting some important items to a small clutch that matches her dress. Well, Whitney will undoubtedly like that she took the time to match. I take her hand and we head to my Nissan. Bailey had told me a few days ago that she had never been to the Space Needle to eat so I was excited to take her there. The first time one goes up that elevator and looks out at the city from the observation deck is something that you never forget. It is truly a sight that everyone should see at least once in their life.

“I like this,” Bailey says humming and I turn to her. “Who is that singing?”

“That’s Thomas Jafee. He’s the guy that we are going to be seeing a little later.”

She smiles. “It’s not on the album I downloaded but I thought it sounded like him.”

“It’s an older song. I can copy it for you.”

“I’d like that.” She then runs her fingers along my jawline. “This song reminds me of you.”

I roll my eyes but can’t help the smirk that creeps along my face as I slowly shake my head.

“Can you play it again?”

“Sure,” I say as I hit the back button.

She leans back in the seat and closes her eyes, laying her hand on my thigh so I can shift. She is bobbing her head lightly to the song and when it finishes she looks in my direction and slowly opens her eyes. She lifts the corners of her mouth into a sweet smile and I am truly mesmerized by her. How could she not be the one for me? She squeezes my thigh and I smile and look down slightly before turning back to the road. I am sure it wouldn’t be good to get in a car accident on the way to dinner.

When we arrive, I valet the car because I have no desire to waste time looking for parking plus I don’t want her to have to walk too far in those heels of hers. I quickly get to her side of the car as the attendant takes her hand and helps her out of the car. He nods in my direction as he places Bailey’s hand in mine.

I am watching her expressions as we maneuver through the main hall towards the elevators. There are a lot of people here as it is a Saturday night and the sky is clear. She is practically bouncing in the elevator so I pull her as close to me as is humanly possible. When the elevator dings, indicating that we have arrived on the observation deck, she looks up at me beaming. Her face is reminiscent of a child on Christmas morning as they see all the gifts around the tree for the first time. My heart swells, feeding off of her excitement.

The observation deck is located just above the restaurant and is 520 feet in the air. You can see Puget Sound, Mount Rainer, the Cascade Mountains as well as Safeco Field and pretty much all of Seattle. Apparently Bailey isn’t afraid of heights either because she grabs my hand and quickly makes her way to the edge. We are looking out at the Sound and she brings my hands around her waist as I move up close to her. She leans her head against my neck and looks up at me with eyes so deep that I immediately get lost in them.

“So beautiful,” I whisper as my lips find hers.

“Should we go see the rest of the deck?” Her voice comes out uneven and rough.

“Just give me a second okay?” I swallow hard and clear my throat, nuzzling into the back of her neck, trying to steady.

A few minutes later I take a deep breath in and out and tell her I am ready. She looks up at me and smiles as I wrap my arm around her shoulder. She leans in to me and wraps her arm around my waist. We continue our tour of the observation deck, stopping at various spots so that I can point out the different sights. As the sun sets, the lights of the city shine brightly below us. I hold Bailey as we gaze out on the greater Seattle area, mesmerized by the beauty that it holds. It feels peaceful and calm until my phone starts buzzing. I don’t have to look at it to know who it is.

“We should head to the restaurant, Win,” I say with hesitation, really wishing that we could stay up here longer.

She nods and we head back to the elevator to go down to the restaurant just below us. “Thank you, Hunter. That was very beautiful.”

“You’re welcome, Bailey. I am glad that I was the first one to take you here.” I lean down and kiss her forehead lightly.

The elevator ride is very quick and I hear screaming the minute we walk into the restaurant lounge. Yep, there is no doubt that Whitney and Gerald are already here.

“Oh Bailey. You are more beautiful than I imagined,” Whitney says, pulling Bailey away from me and hugging her.

“Whitney, this is my Bailey. Bailey, this is Whitney,” I say, pulling Bailey out of Whitney’s over exuberant embrace.

“Hi Whitney. It’s nice to meet you,” Bailey says, shaking her hand.

“Bailey, I think you may remember meeting Gerald informally at the store a while ago.”

She looks up at me and grins. “The day we met.”

I smile. “The day we met.” I lean down and kiss her soft lips, hearing Whitney ohhing and ahhing in the background.

Bailey smiles and turns to Gerald. “Nice to see you again, Gerald.”

“The pleasure is all mine, Bailey,” he says taking her hand and kissing it. Boy Gerald, is laying it on thick.

“Bailey, this dress is beautiful,” Whitney says, touching the material and moving around her to see the whole thing.

“Thanks. It’s a Stella McCartney design. It’s from an older line but I really loved the color and the lady at the boutique helped me find these heels that matched it perfectly,” Bailey says angling her legs to show Whitney her shoes. But all I see are her smooth and shapely calves and her long lean legs.

“McCartney as in Paul McCartney?” Gerald asks excitedly. He loves the Beatles. Wait! Love may not be a strong enough word for it.

“Yes, his daughter is a designer.”

Gerald gives her a look that says ‘duh! Like I don’t know everything there is to know about the man’ then he starts to say something and my hand immediately covers his mouth as I shake my head at Bailey.

“Win, please, do not get him started on the Beatles. He’ll torture us with it all night.”

Gerald bites my hand and shoves me away, laughing. “As I was saying before Hunter so rudely interrupted me was that it seems talent runs in the family. Did you know that Paul…”

I grab him and disrupt his soon to be monologue about something Paul said or did, some bench he sat on that he wants to eventually sit on or something equally ridiculous. Gerald has always held a fascination with The Beatles but Paul in particular. He used to, hell he still drives me nuts with the infinite amount of random bits of information he carries in his head about the man. He maneuvers out of my grasp and gets me into a head lock.

“Boys, settle down, we are in a nice restaurant,” Whitney huffs and then looks at Bailey. “I swear they act like they’re 12 most of the time.”

“Alright, alright… The Beatles are the best band that ever existed and Paul McCartney is a God!” I say laughing and he lets me go, standing up straight and smoothing out his suit, looking all victorious.

“Of course John Lennon was a better songwriter,” Bailey says all nonchalant and you would have thought Gerald’s head was about to explode.

“Wh… wh… what did you say?” Gerald stutters and Bailey grins.

“Oh I believe you heard me,” she says just as they call our names and as we walk past Gerald she leans up to him. “That’s for putting Hunter in a head lock,” she says, tapping his chest a couple of times.

I start laughing as I wrap my arms around her and I hear Whitney snickering in the background. That’s my baby. I bet that shuts him up. But by the time we get to the table Gerald has recovered from his initial shock at Bailey’s blasphemy and eyes her speculatively, as he sits down.

“Well, considering that Paul wrote fourteen of the Beatles number one songs, while John only wrote seven, I think that record speaks for itself therefore proving your point to be invalid,” Gerald says, picking up his menu.

Bailey grins and there is that mischievous twinkle in her eyes. Oh man, Gerald I think you might have bitten off more than you can chew with Bailey.

“Well, I said the best songwriter not necessarily the best producer of number one singles. You can’t possibly believe that Yellow Submarine or Can’t Buy Me Love are better quality songs than say, Imagine,” Bailey says arching her brow at him.

Both Whitney and I are staring between the two of them. Gerald looks like he is about to blow a gasket while Bailey looks cool, calm and collected. Oh man, this could go all sorts of ways.

“What about Yesterday and Let it Be? Are they not of the same writing caliber as Imagine?” Gerald says slightly louder than would be appropriate for the setting.

“I suppose but what was it Lennon said? Hmmm…”

She brings her finger to her chin and there’s that smile again and a part of me wants to stop this before it gets out of hand but the other part of me wants to see what happens next.

“Oh yes, I remember now. A reporter once asked Lennon what the difference between their writing styles was and Lennon had said that Paul wrote soppy pop songs while he preferred to write about real things. So that being said it would only be natural for Paul to have more hits.” She picks up her water glass and takes a sip, eyeing Gerald from across the table.

“Lennon was a pessimist unlike Paul who looked at the world from an optimistic viewpoint. His music was lively and happy. He chose to look at the world with hope. Why judge it as less than simply because it isn’t filled with angst?” Gerald retorts heatedly.

“Paul writes stories about boring people doing boring things, that’s a direct quote from Lennon, 1980 I believe,” Bailey says leaning back in her chair and watching Gerald as heat rises up his neck and ears.

“BORING PEOPLE DOING BORING THINGS… REALLY! I don’t think so. Some of the best songs of our generation sprang from Paul’s mind, he was truly a visionary.”

“Paul was safe. He made you believe the world was a good place. John showed you it wasn’t which makes John more honest and therefore a better songwriter,” Bailey says, clearly believing that she has won this match.

Gerald is just staring at her, his face is all red and his mouth keeps opening and closing. Whitney has her hand over her mouth and I am sitting there with my mouth hanging open trying to figure out what to do. After a few moments, Bailey starts laughing and reaches over for Gerald’s hands, holding them tightly as she gently runs her thumbs over his knuckles.

“I’m sorry, Gerald. I’m just messin’ with you. I think Paul is an awesome musician and song writer. My mom is a huge McCartney fan so I used to love getting her all riled up and found that comparing Paul and John really got her goat. McCartney fans are so intense. I love Paul. Do you forgive me?” she asks batting her lashes at him.

He looks at their hands and then back up at her. She is grinning and arches her brows at him and he lets out a breath and smiles.

“You know, Bailey, I really like you but you pull a stunt like that again and it will be my mission… Do you hear me? My mission to take you down. No one messes with Paul and gets away with it,” he says finally and winks at her.

She taps his hands and pulls away giggling. “Duly noted.”

“That was awesome, Bailey, no one has ever silenced him before,” I whisper and then run my tongue along the outline of her ear causing her to shiver in response.

The waitress soon comes over and we all order our food and wine and continue to talk about various things throughout dinner. Although Gerald’s primary contribution to the conversation was to insert Beatle’s trivia throughout the meal which he said we all had to listen to as penance for Bailey’s sacrilegious outburst earlier. So needless to say he was firing on all cylinders this evening. Every few minutes we were privy to some random quote that none of us really cared about but he said with great enthusiasm nonetheless.

  • Paul wrote his first song “I Lost My Little Girl” when he was just 14 years old.
  • Paul has 29 number one singles on the American charts with the Beatles, Paul McCartney & Wings, and as a solo artist as well as for a one duet with Michael Jackson.
  • Paul owns the double bass that once belonged to Elvis Presley’s bassist Bill Black.
  • Paul’s two favorite singers were Little Richard and Elvis Presley.
  • Paul is the only Beatle to have ever been nominated for an Academy Award in his own right.
  • Paul has never been able to read music instead he writes and plays by ear.
  • Paul composed the entire melody of “Yesterday” in a dream one night at the London flat of his then girlfriend, Jane Asher.
  • Inhabitants of Liverpool where Paul grew up are often called Scousers.
  • Paul was actually the only Beatle to graduate from Britain’s equivalent of high-school, majoring in Art.
  • More than 70 of Paul’s paintings from past 20 years were on view at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England from May to August 2002.
  • There is actually a hotel in Liverpool named after a Beatles song

“Gerald, stop it now or I am withholding…” she leans over to him and whispers, “sex.” But with all the wine she has drunk tonight it isn’t really a whisper and Bailey and I look at each other and laugh, unable to stop for a good five minutes. Let’s just say that Gerald’s unending trivia about Paul McCartney and Liverpool in general has been halted completely by Whitney’s threat.

Throughout dinner, Bailey and I have been sharing food much to the enjoyment of Whitney who would just sigh every time Bailey fed me something. I’m not going to lie; I have really enjoyed it as well. She had moaned when she tasted her Miso Marinated Alaskan Sablefish and told me I had to try it, quickly bringing the fork to my mouth before I could respond. It seemed like the entire dinner consisted of me trying to readjust myself because she was turning me on so much. Apparently everything Bailey does is foreplay. By the time we had to leave for the show we were both ready to go home and cuddle under the covers. Well, cuddle amongst other things.

“Do we have to go to the show?” she asks as we are driving to the venue.

“I’m sorry, Win, but yeah. Whitney would be really disappointed if we didn’t. I don’t think the show is going to be more than a few hours and then we can go home,” I say, scraping my fingers lightly across her cheek. “I can’t wait to make love to you.”

She closes her eyes, breathing in deeply as we stop at a red light. I quickly put the car in park, unable to resist her and bring my mouth to hers, kissing her with purpose and depth. She is my other half; I know this to be true. I don’t need Whitney to tell me what I already know. What we feel right now with one another is all the proof I need. We hear a loud honk, several of them actually and I pull away from her as she smiles warmly at me. I quickly move through the intersection before it changes back to red, unfortunately the cars behind me aren’t so lucky.

When we make it to the venue, Whitney and Gerald meet us out front and we all go in together. It is a small club that often plays host to several up and coming artists. Considering Bailey likes all things Indie, I figured she would enjoy it. I held Bailey all night as we sang most of the songs Thomas played and when I glanced at Gerald he was doing the same thing with Whitney. At the break, Bailey excuses herself and Whitney quickly extricates herself from Gerald much to his chagrin.

“Oh, Hunter, she is perfect for you. I just love her already,” Whitney squeals.

I smile and then mumble. “I do too.”

Now she lets out a full on scream and jumps into my arms. “I knew it, I knew it. Have you told her yet?”

I shake my head. “And don’t you.”

She frowns. “Of course I won’t. But tell her, Hunter,” she says as she bounces back to Gerald and kisses him passionately in front of me. Okay! No more alcohol for Whitney.

Bailey comes back from the restroom and immediately takes her position in my arms as we listen to the remainder of the show, swaying to the music. Well, I got Whitney’s seal of approval but in reality she didn’t tell me anything both my head and heart weren’t already in agreement of. Bailey is it for me. Now I just have to tell her.

 

Chapter 10

I can feel Bailey’s soft skin against my flesh and I realize I am wrapped around her. In fact, I am practically on top of her, our naked bodies touching everywhere. I have come to the realization that I really hate Sundays. I hate knowing that I will have to spend five nights without her. She gasps lightly as I bring my mouth to hers, rolling my tongue around hers then sucking her bottom lip into my mouth and nibbling on it softly. Her hand immediately finds my hair, fisting it tightly, as her other hand makes its slow descent down my back.

“I love you, Bailey,” I stutter into her mouth.

WAIT! Did I just say that out loud? And when her hand stops moving, I realize that that is exactly what I just did. How cliché was that? To say I love you when we are making love. She is going to think I don’t mean it because guys say all kinds of things they don’t mean when they are having sex. I stop moving, hoping I haven’t blown this by saying it too quickly and at the wrong time. She quickly moves the hand that was in my hair so that both of her hands are holding me in place.

“Hunter, open your eyes. Look at me!”

When I don’t say anything or do anything because I simply can’t, she brings both of her hands into my hair and pulls me back slightly but I still don’t open my eyes. I continue to breathe hard and try to run through all possible scenarios in my head. This isn’t how I wanted to do this. I wanted to tell her somewhere special. I wanted to make it something she would remember forever. I feel her fingers lightly caressing my cheek.

“Jobs, please look at me.”

I finally open my eyes and stare into her deep brown ones. She doesn’t look angry or upset, in fact she looks…happy.

“I didn’t want to tell you that way. I wanted to do something special, make it memorable.” I shake my head at my stupidity and then look at her determinedly. “But I love you, Win, so much and I know this may seem soon but I feel empty when you aren’t with me. I love everything about you, how you make me feel like I am the most important person in the world, how you tease me, how compatible we are in every way. I dread being away from you throughout the week. My days are endless and I…” She runs her thumb along my bottom lip, halting my idiotic rambling.

“I love you too,” she says with a smile that would shame Helen of Troy.

The corner of my mouth twitches up and I reflexively run my tongue over my lips before bringing my mouth to hers again. I envelop her, well, we envelop each other as our mouths and tongues work together harmoniously. I could never tire of kissing her beautiful and sensuous mouth. Then it hits me. She loves me and I smile against her and soon feel her smile as well.

“You love me?” I say, bringing my elbows up and resting them on either side of her face.

“Yes…” she kisses me chastely, “I love you. You are the kindest and most gentle man I have ever met.”

I smile like an idiot and start kissing her again as we continue to make love. I know we have a lot to work through, because a long distance relationship is hard, but we will do it. When you love someone you find a way to make it work.

“I love you, Win,” I whisper softly.

“I love you too, Jobs.”

The End

AUTHOR NOTE:

Well, that’s it for this one. I actually wrote this story after finishing a particularly angsty one and wanted to try my hand at writing something humorous that was kind of light and carefree. This was the result. It was actually a lot longer and was sort of an Easter Egg hunt as I included a few snippets from movies I liked. There are actually still a couple in this short piece. Do you know what they are?

In truth, I’m a real sucker for nerdy guys so this was a fun way to express that love, and Hunter is the epitome of nerd-hot ☺ Now for all the Beatles fans out there. Don’t have a coronary or anything, I do love both John and Paul. They were/are premiere musicians and songwriters that continue to influence our world today. That scene at the restaurant was actually something inspired by a friend of mine who is a hard core Paul McCartney fan.

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