“It’s okay. It was a stupid idea anyway,” he murmured. The excited light from moments ago had faded from the pale green shadowing his irises and his hands were now tucked nervously together in his lap. My heart sank at the sight of his retraction; it was the first time I’d seen him look hurt. He was normally so stoic or casual about things- like my opinion didn’t affect him one way or the other.
In that moment, I saw differently.
Tossing my book onto the coffee table, I quickly stood and hiked my dress up along my thighs. His eyes followed the movement of my fingers at the seam and then met mine with question. The sunlight from the window made his lashes look blonde beneath me casting spidery shadows on his cheekbones and I caught the rushed rise and fall of his chest as I settled onto his lap facing him.
My bare legs hugged his jean clad thighs, the dress rising even higher when his hands came to rest on my hips. I cupped both sides of his face gently, the beginning stubble of a beard rough against my palms.
“I have never had someone like you,” I whispered. Leaning down, I brushed my nose softly against his before leaning away again. “You’re going to have to be patient with me. I’m used to just fending for myself, you know? It’s not that I don’t want your help. It’s just…no one has ever wanted to take care of me like you do.”
Somewhat hesitantly I trailed my hands down around his ears and his neck, his eyes never leaving mine. His skin held a little pink from the last few days of work in the sun and I felt the tiniest bit of satisfaction when he leaned into my touch. Resting my hands on his shoulders for a moment I paused before tracing the hard lines of his chest over his t-shirt.
We were both still new to each other; in those tender beginning weeks of a relationship where we laughed or talked almost nonstop still trying to figure the other out. I was busy trying to master my fear of just letting things happen and not suffocating him with my over thinking.
He, however, was ever-patient. Gentle. So unlike anything I’d ever known.
“I worry I make you mad by trying to take over but that’s not what I’m trying to do. It’s not that you’re not capable. God. You’re so smart. I just don’t want you to have to do those things when I’m in your life. That’s what I’m here for,” he said, the rattle of his voice vibrating his chest under my hands.
Copyright © 2016 Pearl Bayou