Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chapter 51 (9/14/16)

Surprisingly, I barely even noticed Ryan was gone the next few days.  My dance classes started back up that evening, and then I had plans with Emma and Grace on Friday, and Erica and Kelly on Saturday afternoon.  I was too busy to miss Ryan.
I had been seeing Grace every couple weeks since the cookout that started this whole Ryan mess, and I was really glad to have her back in my life.  I hadn’t seen Emma, Rayne, Sam, or any of the guys since the cookout, though.  I wasn’t too sad about not seeing the guys (except maybe Justin), but I wouldn’t have been mad about spending a little more time with Rayne, Sam, and Emma. 
So I was definitely looking forward to having dinner with Grace and Emma on Friday.  We met at a newer restaurant after work and got drinks and a couple appetizers to share right away.  “Okay,” Emma said, looking at me as soon as our drinks came.  “First of all, I haven’t seen you in forever and that’s not okay.  Second of all, I need to clear something up and find out what the heck happened between Kevin and your guy at Justin’s party.”
“What?” I asked, confused. 
“Charlie said that the guy you brought—I’m sorry, I can’t remember his name—got in Kevin’s face and was a total dick to him.  And seeing as that guy—what was his name?”
“Ryan,” I said.
“Yes!  Seeing as Ryan was basically the nicest man I’ve ever met in my life, I know that what Charlie said Kevin said happened wasn’t true.”
I rolled my eyes.  “It’s definitely not true.  Kevin confronted me just before we left and was pretty nasty to me.  When I tried to walk away from him, he grabbed me and Ryan wandered over, told him perfectly calmly that he didn’t appreciate Kevin putting his hands on me, and then we left.” 
“I don’t think even Kevin knows his lies from his truths anymore,” Grace said.
“What truths?” Emma replied.  “I don’t think he has any.”  They both looked at me for some reason and I shrugged.  “Well, I definitely don’t want to make you talk about your ex-husband all night.  Tell us about this guy!”
I cautiously told them a little about Ryan.  At this point it had been over a month since the party and so I had to be careful about what I said, since Ryan had told people we were dating at the time.  I felt shady as hell, especially given the conversation we’d just had, but with their connection to Kevin, I didn’t need anything weird getting back to him.
I made it home at a fairly reasonable time still, and fell right into bed.  I definitely was not fully recovered my night of little sleep earlier in the week.  I envied people who could survive on 5 or 6 hours of a sleep a night (or less!) but I was definitely more of an 8-9-or-maybe-even-10 girl.
On Saturday I went shopping with Erica and Kelly.  Erica was doing a little redecorating and I picked up a few fun things for my house too.  Then we had a long dinner together.  It might sound silly, but I had been so worried they’d stop hanging out with me after my divorce.  Not because of anything I did, but we had gone through a lot of life stages together.  We’d all gone to college together, lived in the same dorm, and then later in the same apartment.  We’d gotten into serious relationships around the same time, and gotten married around the same time.  I suddenly didn’t have any life things in common with them, and I had been terrified that would have a major impact on our friendship.  I definitely felt silly now for thinking that.
By Sunday afternoon, I was starting to get antsy for Ryan to be back.  I felt ridiculous, and also a little confused.  How had I gone from not wanting anything to do with him to wanting him back right now?  Of course, I had never actually not wanted anything to do with him, but I had been completely prepared to walk away from him.  I distracted myself by going for a run, cleaning my house, and taking a nap, which seemed like an excellent use of a Sunday!
I was able to distract myself quite effectively Monday and Tuesday, but when I saw a text from him light up my phone screen on Wednesday afternoon, I actually got butterflies.  “You are a ridiculous crazy person,” I muttered to myself, making myself finish my current task before I read the text. 
Five minutes later, I grabbed my phone and unlocked the screen.  Ryan’s text said, “Guess who’s back?  Will you come over tonight?  I’ll make dinner.”  I grinned as I responded, “I’d love to.  What time do you want me?”  I went back to work as I waited impatiently for a response.  Finally, my screen lit up again.  “Want you for what? ;)  There are a few things I’d love to have you for right now… but for dinner, how about 6:30?”  “6:30 is perfect,” I replied.
The afternoon dragged now that I was looking forward to seeing Ryan tonight.  It didn’t help that work was slow and I didn’t have enough to keep me occupied.  When I knocked on the door at 6:30 sharp, it took a minute for Ryan to open the door, and when he did, he had a large knife in his hand. 
“I will take that hint and go,” I said, pretending to turn and leave.
Ryan laughed.  “You’d better get that sexy ass back here, because I missed it.”
“Just my ass?” I asked, pouting as I stepped inside.
“Absolutely not,” he replied, leaning down to kiss me.  “I missed all of you.  And I’m happy to see you.”
I followed him into the kitchen, where he set the knife down and then wrapped his arms around me.  I sunk into the familiar hug, leaning into his chest and burying my face in his partially unbuttoned, wrinkled dress shirt.  “I’m happy to see you too,” I said, when we separated.  “Even if you do look like a homeless person.”  I regarded his dress shirt, athletic shorts, and black dress socks skeptically.  “This is a new look for you, and I’m not so sure about it.”
“Yeah, I was in the process of changing, and then realized I needed to start dinner, and I was going to finish changing at some point but then I just kind of forgot.”  He yawned and shrugged.  “I’m really jet lagged.”
“I bet.  You know you didn’t have to cook tonight, right?”
“You don’t have the knife, you don’t get to tell me what to do,” he replied, pointing the knife at me from across the island. 
I snorted.  “I wouldn’t dream of telling you what to do,” I replied.  “You wouldn’t listen anyway.  Even if I did have the knife!”
“That’s probably true,” he replied, grinning. 
We kept up our typical banter while he finished up dinner.  He poured me a glass of wine and wouldn’t let me help, so teasing him was the least I could do.  He wasn’t as quick with his wit as usual, and I could tell he was tired. 
Despite Ryan’s obvious jetlag, dinner was amazing.  He had also made dessert, which I barely had room for, but was glad I ate anyway.  “Have I ever told you how hot it is when guys are good cooks?” I asked him as I helped him clean up.
“Yeah, I think a couple times,” he replied with a laugh.  He came up behind me as I was rinsing plates to put them in the dishwasher and wrapped his arms around my waist.  “But you can tell me as many times as you want, I don’t mind,” he said softly, before dropping his lips down to kiss and nibble on my exposed flesh where my neck and shoulder met.  I groaned softly and leaned back against him, and he reached forward and turned off the water.  I let him nip along my neck until he put his hands on my hips and turned me around. 
Just as our lips were about to meet, he yawned.  And then he yawned again.  “Ryan,” I said gently, pushing on his hips to separate us a little.  “I think maybe your evening would be better spent sleeping.”
“I’m fine,” he insisted stubbornly.  He lowered his lips again, nudging my head to the side so he could kiss along my neck.  I let him until he yawned again. “Okay, maybe you’re right,” he groaned into my shoulder.  “If I’m too tired to focus on the beautiful woman in front of me, I should probably get some sleep.  But I’m looking forward to someday having sex with you again.”
I laughed.  “Well, I’m looking forward to that to, but I’d prefer not to have sex with the zombie version of you.  How about this?  I’ll cook dinner for you tomorrow.  All you have to do is show up and be impressed by my culinary skills.”
He raised a skeptical eyebrow.  “You can cook?”
I gasped indignantly.  “Of course I can cook!” I said.  “I mean, if I had to choose a better cook between the two of us, you win.  But I’m not going to inadvertently poison you, or feed you flavorless mush.”
“I’m just teasing you, Jenna,” he said, chuckling.  “I’d love for you to make dinner for us.”  He pressed a gentle kiss against my forehead, which made me want to melt into a puddle on the floor.  
“I like that,” I said.
“What?” he asked.
I blushed furiously, not even realizing I’d spoken out loud.  “Nothing,” I replied. 
“Knock it off and tell me,” he said.
Blushing even brighter, I mumbled, “When you kiss my forehead.”
“Well, I don’t know why you’re embarrassed, but that’s good to know,” he said, before gently tilting my chin up and kissing me lightly on the lips.  “Alright, get out of here before I drag you to bed with me anyway and embarrass myself when I’m too tired to get it up.”
I laughed and shook my head.  “You’re…something else.”
“And you like it,” he replied, smirking.
“Yeah, something like that,” I said.  One more kiss and I was out the door.


  1. So cute. And when Jenna said she liked when he kissed her forehead - that was a really vulnerable moment for her. He better not screw it up. mum

  2. [Sigh] Seriously, this was a great post and they have a fun rapport between them. And you have a great way of making these posts believable with the details you include. Who would have thought to have him answer the door in a dress shirt, shorts and black socks??

  3. After I'm done reading every new post, I wish immediately there was ANOTHER new post! I cannot get enough!!

  4. I love them. I know you didn't want to turn this into a Brody and Liv situation but the characters are so different and I love seeing and reading about chemistry clicking and two people falling in love...

  5. And I keep crossing my fingers for bonuses!