Sunday, September 11, 2016

Chapter 50 (9/11/16)

My second date with Ryan was even better than the first.  He ended up getting stuck at work late, so instead of dinner like we’d planned, we ended up going out for dessert and a drink.  Ryan was apologetic, clearly feeling terrible for the change in plans.  “I almost never get stuck late at work, it figures that it would happen tonight.”
“It’s not a big deal,” I reassured him.  “We still got to see each other, so it works!”
We were seated in a cozy corner of a small Italian restaurant downtown, sharing two desserts and a bottle of wine.  I had been worried that the easy, low effort time we’d spent together would be lost now that we were doing this.  Not that I wanted things to be lazy, but part of what I loved about spending time with Ryan was how easy it was.  I was relieved that so far it had been low-key and just as effortless (minus my nervousness during the first date) as always. 
“So where are you going tomorrow?” I asked him. 
“Austria,” he replied.  “Graz, to be specific.  We have a partner there.”
Ryan had done plenty of traveling since we started sleeping together, but this was the first time I actually knew where he was off to.  I had never cared before.  “What do you do while you’re there?” I asked curiously.  I was slightly ashamed to admit that I had no actual idea what he did at work.
“Depends on the trip.  On this one I’m going to be in charge of updating some contracts and fixing a problem on one of the deals they’re working on.  Not one of the more exciting trips I’ve been on lately.  At least it’s a shorter one, I’ll be back next Wednesday.” 
“So you’ll only forget about me for a week, then?” I teased him. 
“Who knows, maybe I won’t forget about you at all,” he replied, smirking.  “I guess we’ll find out!”
I gave him a mock dirty look and he started laughing.  “I haven’t yet forgotten about you while I’ve been working.  Not a single trip since we started spending time together.”
“What?” I asked, surprised.  “What do you mean?”
“Exactly what I said,” he replied with a shrug.  I stared at him for several seconds, neither of us speaking.  “Don’t look at me like that,” he said finally, laughing.  “Come on, Jenna.  Don’t act shocked that I have real, human feelings.”
“You pitched yourself as feeling-less,” I reminded him. 
“No,” he argued.  “I pitched myself as someone with fewer than average feelings, at least up until that point of my life.”
“Semantics!” I responded with a chuckle, throwing my hands up. 
He grinned and countered, “An important distinction.”
We argued playfully until I finally admitted defeat and gave up.  We stayed at the restaurant until it closed at 10, and then wandered down to the lakewalk.  We wandered for a little while before finding a bench in a quiet spot and sitting.  Ryan put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close to him in the chilly early fall air.  We sat there for way too long, talking and teasing each other until I could barely keep my eyes open. 
“I’d better get you home,” Ryan said, after I yawned for the 4th time in less than 2 minutes. 
“Yeah, some of us have to get up for work in the morning,” I replied. 
“Hey, I haven’t heard you begging to go home.  It’s not my fault my flight doesn’t leave until tomorrow afternoon,” he retorted.  He stood and offered me a hand, pulling me up and into him.  He wrapped his arms around me and smirked at me.
“This doesn’t look like getting me home,” I pointed out sassily. 
“Can’t blame a guy for wanting to spend all night with you, can you?” he asked.  He took advantage of my upturned face and kissed me softly.  I freed my arms from where they were trapped between us and wrapped them around his neck, kissing him back eagerly.  A little voice at the back of my mind nagged me to get home, and I knew I’d be exhausted the next day, but I didn’t care. 
The lakewalk was deserted this late on this cool evening, and we kissed uninterrupted for several minutes.  Finally I untangled myself from him and frowned.  “I really should get home,” I said, disappointed.  “I’m going to be really sorry tomorrow.” 
“You’re right,” Ryan said.  “Let’s get going.”  We walked back towards his car hand in hand and I couldn’t help but be a little freaked out about how much I wanted to stay here with him all night.  I took a deep breath and swallowed my fear, forcing myself to just enjoy the moment.  Luckily, the fear was fleeting, and by the time we got back to his car, I was just really tired. 
I knew it was late, but I was surprised to see it was after midnight.  “I’m blaming tomorrow’s poor work performance on you, just so you know,” I informed Ryan as he pulled out of his parking spot and headed towards my house. 
“I’d be more inclined to blame it on your negative attitude,” he joked.  “You should try believing in yourself instead.”
“I believe in my ability to hurt you very badly,” I responded seriously. 
He laughed.  “Good thing I believe in your lack of desire to actually hurt me.”
“Only because I’m too lazy,” I shot back, trying not to laugh. 
“Of course.  It has nothing to do with not wanting to mar this handsome, chiseled face, right?”
I snorted.  “Oh, I could do plenty of damage without even touching your face, trust me.”
He laughed and shook his head as he parked in my driveway.  I yawned again, glanced at the clock on the dash, and groaned.  It was so late. 
“My desire to invite you in is great, but my desire to not hate myself tomorrow for only getting 3 hours of sleep is greater,” I said to Ryan as we walked up to my door together. 
He chuckled and laid a hand on my lower back.  “I can support that life choice,” he said.  “Even though I also have a great desire to come in.” 
Despite the late hour, we weren’t in any hurry to say goodbye, and that was obvious.  Ryan leaned against the wall next to my front door and pulled me close to him.  “Thanks for being flexible tonight and understanding about work,” he said, before he pressed his lips to my forehead. 
“I had fun,” I said.  “It was actually one of the best dates I’ve ever been on.”
“Oh, really?” he asked. 
I blushed, having spoken without thinking.  “Yeah, I guess,” I replied.  “I mean, it was low-key, but there was wine and dessert and a handsome man, so I guess that’s pretty much all I require.”
“You’re so easy,” he replied, drawing an indignant glare from me.  “And pretty,” he amended.  “And sleepy,” he added as I yawned.
“I know, I need to go to bed,” I admitted.  I stood on my tiptoes and looped my arms around his neck, tipping my head up to kiss him. 
“Mmm, I’ll let you, but only because I know I won’t hear the end of it if I don’t,” he murmured after we parted.  “I’ll give you a call when I get back okay?  Don’t miss me too much, but if you do, you can try calling me.  It’s 7 hours ahead there, so email or text might work better.”
“I’m impressed that you know that off the top of your head,” I said. 
He shrugged.  “I’ve got a few stored in my memory,” he replied.  “Now go get some sleep before I can’t help but invite myself in.”
I laughed and we said goodnight.  Once I got in bed, though, I couldn’t seem to fall asleep.  It was well after 3 before I finally nodded off.

I barely made it out of the house on time in the morning.  I was firmly in denial when my alarm went off.  I hit snooze far too many times and finally stumbled out of the house covered in dry shampoo and regret. 
I got a text from Ryan at 9:30 that said, “Mornin’ beautiful.  Hope you’re not too tired today!”  I frowned at my phone, surprised to see a text from the man who hates to text.  I sent back, “Couldn’t fall asleep :( Not enough coffee in the world.  I could use some more anyway, but I have to wait until lunch.”  Not even in my desperation could I force myself to drink the gross instant stuff we had in the breakroom.  I was trying to make do with a Coke from the vending machine, but it wasn’t cutting it.  “Poor baby.  I’ll think of you while I’m napping on the plane,” he responded almost immediately. “You’re playing with some serious fire.  But since I’m nice, I still hope you have a good flight!” 
My work phone rang and I turned my attention away from my phone.  I didn’t get a chance to check it for awhile, and then forgot about it.  I was working on some mindless tasks when the bell alerting me that someone was coming in rang.  I pasted a smile on my face and looked up to greet whoever was coming in.  I was surprised to see it was Ryan. 
            “Hi,” I said, confused.  “What are you doing here?”
“Well, I’m glad to see you too,” he replied, laughing.  He held out a to-go coffee cup from my favorite coffee place downtown.  “Vanilla dirty chai with skim milk,” he said, leaning against the counter as I stood to take it. 
“How did you…” I racked my brain, trying to figure out how he would know my favorite coffee place or my go to drink. 
He just grinned.  Suddenly, Rachael stuck her head out of her office and said, “You’re welcome!” and then disappeared again.  I looked at Ryan curiously.
“Rachael was helpful,” he admitted, shrugging.  “Anyway, I can’t stay.  I have to stop at the office before I head to the airport, but I thought the least I could do is drop off some caffeine after I kept you out so late last night.”  He flashed me a brilliant smile and winked.  Why did he actually look sexy when he winked?  It wasn’t fair.
“I’ll walk you out,” I said.  I popped my head in Rachael’s office.  “Cover the phones for a sec, please?” I asked her.  She nodded and grinned at me. 
I walked out with Ryan and followed him to his car.  “Thank you,” I said, “You really didn’t have to.”
“I know,” he replied.  “I wanted to.” 
We said goodbye, and I stood in the parking lot for a minute after his SUV pulled away.  I was disappointed he was leaving, and that’s when I was realized that I was in deep.

10 comments:

  1. The feels!!I loved this post! Jenna and Ryan like this are so sweet together.

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  2. I love this blog so so so so much!!! Can't wait for a new post!!!

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  3. I loved this post! My favorite line was "covered in shampoo and regret."

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  4. EEK!!!! Perfect. I am rooting for them SO HARD. lol!

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  5. Yessss!!! I love this too much!!

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  6. I just binge read your whole blog. It's so good. Drama, sex, men...all the good things.
    Thank you, you are an excellent writer.

    -Canada

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    Replies
    1. Welcome! I'm glad you're enjoying so far and I'm delighted to have you :) Thanks for your kind words!

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