Another Changed Life Ch. 03byingarlm©
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Oh my god. My head was spinning from what he had said already, and then he kissed me. Kissed me like he really wanted me and left me standing there, confused, dazed, and desperate for more of him. This couldn't, shouldn't, be happening. It was supposed to be one night and I wasn't going to let him get to me, and now he was coming to my door with flowers saying I was the one who had got to him.
It was one perfect night, I admitted that to myself at the time, and to Charlie when I spoke to him, but I never thought there would be more. I fantasised about it, sure, made myself come with remembering what he had done to me and how incredible it felt, and with imagining scenarios like just now, when he came to me, told me how he felt, and kissed me senseless.
Was I still dreaming? That my lips were still tingling and I was wet and aching between my legs said I wasn't, but other than that it could so easily be a dream. Strangely, I was angry with him for doing this. Not for kissing me, or even telling me what he had, but for the confusion when I had it all straight in my mind. I was going to let him in for one night, do what I had always known was going to happen, and move on. And I'd done it, no regrets, no looking back, just one night of passion and then off to look for a man who could give me all the other things that Dan couldn't.
Lies of course. I knew before that night I was never going to be the same, but I felt like I had to do it before I could move on, and I desperately wanted to know what it would be like. Now I was in a relationship that gave me all the things that I thought Dan never would, and it wasn't enough. He was sweet and kind and I enjoyed every moment I spent with him, but it was all tempered by the knowledge that he wasn't what I really wanted.
We had sex, and it was fun and good, I enjoyed it, but he couldn't turn me on the way Dan had, with a simple touch. It was like going from a five course dinner in the best restaurant to a burger and fries. Warm and satisfying for the moment, but all the time aware there was something out there with more finesse, that tasted better, and would stay in your memory for a lot longer. That much more special. The irony of using food for comparison was not lost on me.
Thankfully my doorbell rang and distracted me from my musings. I needed to talk this over and there was only one man for the job. I would have liked to talk to Mark, but I loved Charlie nearly as much and there was no way I could have this conversation with Mark after all he had said about me staying away from Dan.
"Hi gorgeous," Charlie started, heading in as soon as I opened the door. "You going to tell me the reason for the panicked phonecall before or after you get me a coffee?"
He was smiling, and his cheerful and teasing nature helped me calm down immediately.
"How about before, during, after, and as long as you can spare me? I think I'm going crazy. Actually, maybe that explains everything – it was just me hallucinating!"
He grinned at me as he went to the kitchen.
"So, what did he say that's got you in such a tizz?"
"Chef. Dan if you prefer."
"I didn't say this was about Dan. How do you even know I've seen him?"
"Because I told him to come see you. I'm fed up of him being a pain in the arse moping around and not speaking to you about it."
Okay, this was bizarre. I knew Dan said he spoke to Mark and Charlie, but I doubted that and it seemed I was wrong. The idea of Dan moping was ridiculous despite all he had told me.
"What did he say?"
"You first. I'm not betraying a confidence if he lost his balls when he got here, although by the sounds of things he didn't."
"He didn't. Well, I don't think so. He said he wants to be with me, just with me as in a relationship I guess, and that he can't get the night we spent together out of his head. He called it 'making love' even. He wants to meet me for lunch tomorrow to just spend some time with me. What do I do?"
"You go, for starters. This is a good thing, surely? This is what you wanted, before you ever slept with him. You always hoped it would be different with you."
"Hoped maybe, never expected it would really happen. It wasn't supposed to be this way, I was just going to get him out of my system, stop all the flirting so I could have a normal relationship."
"And that's what he's offering. After a bit of soul-searching and being an idiot about it, but he's getting there. You can't pretend it's not what you want."
I handed Charlie a coffee and as he sipped it I considered his words. He was right of course, and I knew it was what I wanted, I just didn't know if Dan could do it or I could let myself be hurt if he couldn't.
"But this is Dan we're talking about. Mr 'love then and leave them', or put them in his little black book for a return visit. He wasn't supposed to do this to me."
Charlie looked straight at me, his blue eyes full of confusion.
"You don't want him? I thought this would be a good thing, you sound like he just kicked your puppy."
I sighed. "Of course I want him. I want all he said, if he was serious, but I'm not going to let him string me along and then decide he's off to play the field again. As much as walking out after our night together hurt, him walking away from me is going to hurt a million times more."
There was a long silence, and I began to wonder if Charlie thought I was right on this point. Turned out he was just gathering his thoughts.
"You remember the first time we met, I'd been on one date with Mark and he was desperately trying to convince me that he wanted a relationship and I meant so much more to him than any of the guys he had been with before?" I nodded. "That night, you told me that I should give him a chance, because the way he spoke about me was different to anything he had ever said."
"I was right, wasn't I?"
"You were, and I'm happier than I thought I could ever be. My advice is to take your own advice. Give him a chance, because I promise you, what he is saying about you he has never said before. The way he has been, no woman has ever got to him this way. I can't promise that you won't get hurt, but I don't think he will walk away from you. I think he's in love, I'm just not sure if he realises that yet, but he will."
I was silent for a long time, and even after Charlie left, that was the one thing I couldn't get out of my head. The idea that Dan might actually love me, that was more terrifying than that he wanted to date me. It made this a lot more serious and put more pressure on our meeting tomorrow. And it begged the question, how did I feel about him? I realised when I asked myself the question that I loved him, and I probably had for some time. The one thing that I was at least now sure of was I would give him a chance, but I was going to need some convincing before I let him all the way into my heart.
* * * * * *
I woke with a smile on my face for the first time in weeks. I was going to see her today and I could hardly wait. I surprised myself with how excited I was about it and that I genuinely wasn't bothered that it would be in public and I wouldn't be able to seduce her. Just spending some time with her, hopefully getting her to smile at me, would be enough for the moment. I didn't even berate myself for being a sap about this, I was just too happy.
Midday found me waiting impatiently at the coffee shop, not because she was late but I'd already been there for twenty minutes just in case she was early. Pointless, since I knew she was working and wouldn't get out for lunch until 12. It was only a couple of minutes before I saw her approaching the door, and a broad smile spread across my face before she even spotted me. Her smile in return was radiant and I could only assume she was at least a little pleased to see me too.
I settled for a quick hug and kiss when she got to me, almost losing my control when she kept the kiss going a little longer than I expected. Her lips were closed, but it was still more than we used to have and made me grin even more. She laughed at me then, but I must have looked like some kind of eager puppy. I knew I was being an idiot, but then love makes fools of us all, apparently. I was proving that adage right, certainly.
"What can I get you?" I asked.
She still looked amused. "Latte please, with an extra shot."
"You don't think I'll be able to keep you awake?" I teased.
"I'm sure it'll be fine, but I like strong coffee. I was up late I guess, so I might start yawning."
"I'll try not to take it personally," I said.
I noticed her slight surprise, and she was fully expecting me to ask about what she had discussed with Charlie and whether she had a decision for me. I'd promised her I wouldn't push, and myself that I wouldn't ask. I was going to enjoy my time with her and hope that she would give me the reply I wanted sooner rather than later.
And I really did enjoy myself, loving being able to chat with her with no pressure now that she knew how I felt. We caught up on what had been happening with each other, although thankfully she avoided telling me about the guy she had been dating as I didn't want to hear that. I just felt happy and comfortable in her company, and proud of having such a beautiful woman with me.
It was only when she checked her watch and realised that she only had a few minutes before going back to work that she changed the subject to more personal matters. I suspected she might ask questions, but all I could do was be honest and hope that it made the difference.
"I guess I want to know... what happened? You said things have changed for you, but how?"
"You've always been different you know, and I realise that now. Not because you said no to me, believe me that has happened plenty of times, but because I kept trying despite that. I had this feeling like I was missing out on something with you. It was different that night as well, but again, it took a bit of time to work out how. I've never felt..."
I tailed off, not quite sure how to explain myself properly, searching for the right words.
"Felt what?" she asked quietly.
"Felt so much like it was right, like being with you was where I was supposed to be. I've never been so desperate to make it perfect for someone, or lost control at the simplest of touches before. And I've never had the feeling like I never wanted to leave, never let go. You felt so wonderful in my arms I didn't want it to end, and when you left I felt alone for the first time in years."
She exhaled sharply, my words clearly having some effect. She was studying my face, trying to work out whether to believe me, but I had the feeling that she did, at least to some extent. No-one would say all that stuff if they didn't mean it, and certainly not me, she knew me well enough to be sure of that.
"I'm sorry if I hurt you. I'd made up my mind, before our night, I was going to get out of there with minimum fuss, sure that's what you would want. You have to understand, it was about protecting myself. The reason I said no for so long was I knew it could never just be meaningless sex to me, and I wasn't sure I could cope with only ever having one night with you. I figured it would be easier never to know, but I also knew I wasn't going to be able to resist forever no matter how sure I was of that."
It was my turn to search her face for the truth, as I tried to keep calm despite what she was saying. She had wanted me, and for more than one night but she took that anyway to be with me, even though she thought she would end up being the one that got hurt because of it.
"I'm glad it happened, because otherwise who knows when I would have come to my senses and realised how much I needed you. It makes me sad to think you went into it thinking like that though, I never would have hurt you."
"I knew that. Not intentionally, anyway. I just had to get away from you afterwards, before I got too comfortable in your arms. You're right, it did feel wonderful. I didn't want to leave either," she finished, blushing and looking away from me.
I took her hand which was loose on the table top, and ran my hand across it, interlocking our fingers. I waited for her blush to fade and for her to look back at me before I continued.
"I want you in my arms a lot more often you know. I promised not to push you, and I won't. If you need more time to sort this out you can have it and I won't hassle you. But what I'd really like is for us to be dating. I'd like to get to know you, outside the bedroom, and make this work, because I love you."
I saw her eyes widen and heard her gasp. I just let her take in my words, looking at her so she could see in my eyes how much I meant it. I know I could never even have faked a look of adoration before, but when it was real it was so easy, and saying those words I never thought I would was so simple when it was to her.
"I keep thinking I'm dreaming," she said. "I never expected anything from you, and now you seem to want everything but I can't quite believe it. I guess all I can do is give you a chance, because I would love it if this was real. So, okay, dating, but I need you to know that you'll be waiting for inside the bedroom. I need you to prove that this is different and can work first. I hope that doesn't sound too mean, and I know it's kind of stupid because we already slept together, but it's important to me."
I was too happy at her agreeing to date me to care about the rest of it, and I already figured I would have to show this was true before she would let me have sex with her again. I knew I could wait though – I already had been and it was only hard because I thought I would never have the chance to be with her again.
"It makes sense, honestly, and I have no problem with that. We'll take this slow. As long as I can be with you I don't mind."
She raised one eyebrow in question.
"You seem to know just the right things to say to me all of a sudden."
"It's because all I've been able to think about is you, and how I can persuade you to be with me. I'm not even annoyed with myself for becoming one of those sappy men I always laughed at. You make it worthwhile."
She gave me a beautiful smile and a kiss before she left me. I could only smile as she walked away, glad that we had talked and worked so much out, and appreciating the sight of her hips swaying as she headed out of the coffee shop. I walked to work a few moments later, so happy that I was humming to myself as I got through the door and I got plenty of odd looks from the other staff as I worked with a huge grin on my face, but I didn't care. I had the most wonderful girlfriend in the world.
* * * * * *
The downside to my new-found happiness was not being able to see Tess anywhere near as much as I wanted. In the past my job had helped me keep women at bay, not being available for evenings out and only free when they were at work. Now I found that frustrating. When I finished work it was late and although I got to speak to her on the phone it wasn't enough. She was heading to bed when I got in and I was at work when she got back from her job.
As a result it was late on Friday night before I saw her again, a few days when I found myself wanting a hug more than anything. I contented myself with talking to her, hearing her sweet, soft voice was music to my ears every night before I fell asleep, but I really wanted her beside me even if we were just curling up together. I needed her touch badly.
I'm fairly sure she knew it too, when the first thing I did when she opened the door was to throw my arms around her and hold her tight, taking a few moments to appreciate having her with me before I started on kissing her senseless. I managed to get control back after a few minutes, easing back but keeping her close. She looked kind of stunned and aroused at the same time, her dark eyes sparkling.
"Sorry, it's been too long. I've missed you."
She laughed. "If I get greetings like that I'm not complaining!"
"Every time, I promise," I replied, completely serious. I didn't think I'd ever get enough of holding and kissing her.
"Well then, perhaps I'll have to try and see you more often, particularly since you're now my boyfriend," she replied, almost seeming to expect me to react to the word.
I did, I grinned at her describing me that way, and she smiled back. I had the feeling I had passed some sort of test, but I was sure I could pass anything with flying colours, I just needed to be honest with her.
"And, as an added incentive, I've brought you food," I told her, picking up a bag I had brought with me.
Inside, as she opened the little box, she saw a slice of chocolate cheesecake. I swear she almost looked as happy to see that as she had been to see me, but since I'd made it I still felt proud I could make her feel that way. I got a kiss for my trouble though, and that definitely made it worthwhile.
"I'll get a fork, it would be a shame to leave this and forget about it. Did you know it's my favourite?"
"Yes, I've seen what you order. And I've seen the look on your face when you eat it, which I guess I should admit is part of the reason for this gift. I can't wait to see that look of pleasure you get at your first bite."
She blushed slightly, and headed off to the kitchen. I wasn't kidding, it turned me on watching her eat food she enjoyed, and I wanted to put that delighted smile on her face in as many ways as I could think of before she let me back in her bed. I surprised her by taking the fork from her hand when she returned, and she coloured beautifully when she realised I was going to feed her.
I raised the first bite to her mouth, watching intently as her eyes focussed on it and she licked her lips in anticipation. She was still slightly red from her blushes, but it just made her look more gorgeous. I let the fork drift towards her lips, almost letting out a groan as she leaned forward to take the food from it and then closed her eyes in pleasure, the look I had been hoping to see.
There was a soft moan from her lips before her eyes opened again, her gaze locking into mine, silently thanking me. I fed her every last morsel, increasingly finding that feeding her was undoing my control. She was only eating, beautifully but still, I shouldn't be as hard as I was or be shaking so badly. I swallowed hard as she savoured the last mouthful and found my voice had nearly left me when I tried to speak.
"I should have brought more," I muttered, wishing I could keep feeding her.
"You'll make me fat," she said, smiling. "Dating you could be bad for my waistline."
"Never. I'll bring berries next time if it will make you feel better though!"
"I like the sound of that," she replied.
I didn't get chance to ask her what she wanted, she leaned towards me and I was lost in her chocolate flavour kisses a moment later. I was sat next to her on the sofa, but she pushed me back and I was suddenly lying with her on top of me. She wriggled into a comfortable position, meeting my erection and making me moan.
"You're hard just from that kiss?" she said, sounding surprised.
"I was hard just from being with you and watching you eat. Your kisses aren't likely to help it go down though!"
She didn't answer, she kissed me again. I let her take control of this one, but held her to me, loving the way I could feel her body, almost as good as when we had been in bed together although this time we had clothes on. I stroked her back through her t-shirt, feeling the heat from her even though my hands weren't on her soft skin. It was enough for now, I counselled myself.
Our kisses went on for a long time, until both of us were yawning in between pecks. Tess snuggled down me a little, resting her head on my chest, and we just lay there warm and content wrapped up in each other. I must have got a little too content, because I became aware of her soft voice calling to me and realised I had been asleep.