Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chapter 49 (9/7/16)

Ryan was leaving for work again later that week, so we scheduled our date for the next day (Monday).  My dance classes were currently on a break between sessions anyway, so it worked out well.
I was nervous all day long on Monday.  Rachael noticed, and I filled her in at lunch.  “Why are you nervous about going on a date with a guy you’ve been banging for months?” she asked, confused. 
“Because this is not just banging, Rach,” I said.  “This is like…an actual date.  That could potentially precede an actual relationship.  And I am terrified.”
“At least you already know how big his dick is,” she said casually.  I almost spit out my mouthful of food.  “I mean, that accounts for at least 90% of my nervousness before a date.”
“You are a horrible person,” I informed her, laughing.  “This just feels like a big deal.”
She nodded.  “Are you excited, at least?  You can be both nervous and excited, you know.”
“I am,” I said.  “I think it will be weird to go on a date with a man I’ve been having sex with for months, but I am excited.”  The fact that I could finally admit that out loud was a relief.  I was still terrified, but I could finally see how awesome this could be. 
“And at least if you do something weird or awkward, which you probably will, he already knows you and knows to expect it!” she exclaimed, grinning.
“I don’t know why I’m friends with you,” I joked, shaking my head.  “Now I’m thinking about all the awkward things that could potentially happen, and it’s not good!”
“You’re pretty enough that it’s adorable when you’re awkward, not weird,” she said, trying to reassure me.  It made me laugh, so I guess it was effective. 
I was able to focus on work for the rest of the day, but as soon as I left the office to run home and get ready for my date, I felt like I was going to throw up.  I went all out, curling my hair and putting on some fun makeup.  I took extra time perfecting my eyeliner; it took me three tries on my left eye because my hands were shaking.
I ended up being ready about 10 minutes before Ryan was supposed to show up.  “Well now what am I supposed to do?” I muttered to myself.  I didn’t need to sit here and stew in my own anxiety.  I tried to read for a little while but ended up reading the same page over and over because I wasn’t processing any of it. 
Finally, 3 minutes before he was supposed to be here, my doorbell rang.  I had to stop myself from flinging the door open from nerves.  Instead, I put my hand on the knob, took a deep breath, and opened it carefully.  “Hi,” Ryan said, grinning at me.  “My god, you look beautiful.”  His eyes traveled the length of my body and returned quickly to my face.  “Wow.”
“Stop it,” I said, giggling nervously.  “I look exactly the same as I always have.”
“And you’ve always been beautiful,” he said, stepping inside and dropping his head to brush his lips against my cheek.  “These are for you,” he continued, holding a huge bouquet of flowers out to me, his eyes sparkling. 
“You didn’t,” I said, laughing.  The bouquet was gorgeous, full of late summer flowers and succulents in greens, reds, oranges, and golds. “Wow, these are amazing.”  I giggled again, silently cursing myself for being a nervous giggler.  I turned away from Ryan and took them into the kitchen, digging a vase out and filling it with water.  I almost dropped it and stopped to take a steadying breath.
“Here,” he said, gently taking the vase from me and setting it on the counter.  He reached for the flowers and I watched him as he deftly unwrapped them and arranged them in the vase.  “You okay?” he asked, turning back to me, his eyes searching my face.
“I’m really nervous,” I admitted.  “I’m not sure why.”
He smiled warmly and said.  “I am too, actually."
His admission helped me relax a little, and I truly looked at him for the first time since I opened the door.  “Oh,” I said.  “You look really good too.  I love dark blue on you.”  His not-quite-navy striped button down was just a shade darker than his eyes.  He’d asked me to dress casually, but I had no idea what we were doing.  I had settled on a pair of skinny jeans, booties, and a thin, fitted, slightly low cut sweater.  “Is this okay for what we’re doing?” I asked, gesturing at myself.
“It’s perfect.  Bring a jacket,” he replied.  I frowned.  It was starting to get chilly at night, but not really chilly enough to need a jacket.  “Trust me,” he said.  Shrugging, I reached into my small coat closet and pulled out a light jacket, holding it up for his approval.  “That should work,” he declared. 
“I’m so intrigued by your plans,” I said, hoping to get more information out of him.
“Well, you’ll have to be intrigued for awhile still,” he said, grinning.  “Dinner first, I’m starving.”
“That I can get on board with,” I agreed. 
I was still nervous as Ryan drove us to a casual but delicious restaurant down by the water.  He kept up a steady stream of chatter, which helped a little. When we got out of the car, he slid his arm around me and said, “Hey, knock off this nervous shit.  I know I’m really, really ridiculously good looking, but deep down I’m just a normal, nice guy.”  I looked up at him and he was smirking at me, and I just shook my head and laughed. 
“You are…something,” I replied, snuggling into his side as we walked towards the door. 
“I think that might be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!” he teased me. 
I laughed.  “Actually, that might be true,” I agreed. 
I relaxed over the course of dinner.  We ate outside on the restaurant’s patio, which had a great view of the harbor.  We easily fell into our familiar pattern of teasing each other and joking, and by the end of dinner, all my anxiety about this date was gone. 
After dinner, he drove us down to one of the docks at the harbor.  “What are we doing?” I asked, confused. 
“Taking a ride,” he replied.  He grabbed my jacket out of the backseat where I’d tossed it and we got out.  He led me down the dock and we stopped in front of one of the slips.
“I didn’t know you had a boat,” I said, still sort of confused.
He smirked at me and said, “There are a lot of things you don’t know about me yet.”
“Oh really?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow at him.
He grinned and said, “Well, probably.  But actually, this is my uncle’s boat.  He lets me take it out sometimes.  When I told him I had a beautiful woman to impress, he handed the keys right over.” 
“Of course he did,” I said with a laugh. 
Ryan helped me into the boat and I watched him as fiddled with ropes and things, getting it read.  “It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done,” he said as he worked.  “Here, can you hold this?” He handed me a piece of rope, which I held until he took it away from me 30 seconds later.  “Thanks.” 
I enjoyed watching him work.  His movements were quick and sure.  Eventually we were off, and I understood why he wanted me to bring a jacket.  I quickly pulled it on and zipped it up.  Ryan guided the boat easily around, pointing out landmarks from a vantage point that I hadn’t ever had, even in my 12 years of living here. 
Eventually, he cut the engine and the boat stilled, rocking gently with the slight motion of the lake on this still evening.  He moved to sit next to me and I immediately nestled against him.  “Cold?” he asked softly.  I nodded.  I should have brought a warmer jacket.  It was definitely chilly on the water.  He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me firmly against his chest, and I fully relaxed for the first time since I had woken up that morning. 
We didn’t stay out on the water much longer, and I was surprisingly disappointed when Ryan guided the boat back into its slip.  We were both quiet on the drive back to my house, but it was a content, comfortable silence.  Halfway there, Ryan reached over the center console and wrapped his hand around mine.  I fought a strange, fleeting urge to pull away before I relaxed again.  It had been a very long time since I’d held someone’s hand.  If Ryan noticed, he didn’t say anything. 
He parked his SUV in my driveway and we both got out.  He walked me up to the door and I stopped there, turning and leaning against it.  I grinned at him.  “Is this the part where you stand here too long, awkwardly trying to decide if it’s okay to kiss me?” I asked.
“I think so,” he replied, smirking back at me. 
I laughed.  “I had fun, Ryan.  Thank you.”
“I have no idea if that’s sincere or part of the script,” he replied, cocking an eyebrow.
I smacked his arm lightly.  “I meant it, you idiot!” I said indignantly. 
“Oh, okay,” he replied, still smiling.  Impulsively, he leaned forward and I turned my head, so his lips landed on my cheek.  We both cracked up.  It wasn’t that funny, but we couldn’t stop laughing.  When we finally got it together, Ryan wiped a tear off his cheek and said, “Thank you for making this date just as awkward as any first date should be.” 
“It was my pleasure,” I said, grinning at him
Ryan leaned down to kiss me again, and this time I turned my face up towards his.  Our lips met and he slid his hand up my arm, over my shoulder, and brought it to rest against my jaw.  We kissed for several seconds, and though we’d kissed many times before, this one felt different. 
When our lips parted, I leaned into him and he wrapped his arms around me.  We stood there silently for well over a minute, until Ryan finally kissed the top of my head and softly asked, “So, do I get the honor of taking you out again?”
“I think you’ve earned it,” I said, leaning back so I could look up at him. 
“Yeah?” he asked, smiling.  “Congratulations to me.”
I giggled and leaned back against him, letting him run his hands up and down my back for several more seconds. “I leave on Thursday,” he told me.  “Can I see you Wednesday?”
“Wednesday works for me,” I replied. 
I thought about inviting him in, then decided against it.  He seemed to be thinking along the same lines, because he said, “Okay, I’m going to get going then.”  I nodded, taking a step back.  He waited while I unlocked my door and got the light on inside.  “Goodnight, Jenna,” he said, one side of his mouth twitching up in an adorable half smile.
“Goodnight,” I said softly.  He kissed me twice more: briefly on the lips, then on the forehead, and then he stepped back, watching until I shut and locked the door behind me.


  1. This was a totally fabulous post. I really hope Jenna and Ryan work. Love his character!

  2. Super adorable, love your writing!!

  3. Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes this is all I could ever ask for in a post ��

  4. Damn! That's was amazing! Thanks for the great post!

  5. Yesssssssssssssssssssss yes yes yes yes! I am so excited it went well. I'm casually way too invested..... :) You're just too good at writing! haha

  6. Yahoo!!!!! What a chill first date...i wasn't sure if I could like them together now that they want to date but you nailed it! Lol so many emotions

  7. This. All of this! All the feels. All the heart eyes. All the Ryan and Jenna. Lovvvve it!