Worth Waiting Forbytotallyatease©
They sat in silence for a little while each wishing that they'd not said something or said something differently. The trouble was though the words were out and there was no taking them back.
Mel's declaration of love had goaded him into saying something rash.
Jed had known that the suggestion of marriage was a way of yet, even if it was his end goal.
More than anything Mel wanted to throw her arms around him and cry out, "yes of course I'll marry you!" But she knew that it was too late for that now. That brief moment of doubt had put their relationship back on its first footing.
"I do love you," she whispered tearfully. "And I would like to marry you, but not yet. It's too soon." She turned to face him, her expression earnest. "Surely you must see that it's too soon?"
She thought for a moment that he wouldn't respond as he continued to stare down at the ground.
"I do." He muttered finally. "I know, I'm a fool and I rushed in, I'm sorry." He turned to take her into his arms and she melted into him with a blissful little sigh. "I'm sorry babe; I didn't mean to pressure you."
He held her to him as the atmosphere around them relaxed and she was at her ease with him once more.
"Something smells good." She said a little while later and he smiled into her hair.
"It's a casserole. Mum put it together for me and told me to let it do it do its thing on a very low heat."
Mel giggled and moved away from him. "Well it smells like its ready."
He had a little dining table in the corner of the room; big enough to seat two people comfortably. He'd set it before Mel had arrived and now he lit the candles and served the wine and then went to dish up their meal.
It was a simple fare, but to Mel it was the best meal she had ever sat down to.
Their evening was back on track and they both made sure it stayed that way.
Mel helped him wash the dishes and then they settled once more on his sofa. She wished that she was confident enough to start up where they had left off, but Jed was somehow a little more distant with her.
She sat in silence for a while feeling more than a little upset and Jed sat next to her thinking his own sombre thoughts.
In the end she could stand it no more and she stood up clearly distressed. "I think I should go now."
Jed looked like he wanted to argue with her, but in the end he simply sighed regretfully and stood up too. "That's probably a good idea," he agreed sadly. "Hang on and I'll just get our coats."
He looked at her in surprise. "Well, I'm certainly not going to leave you to walk home on your own at this time of night."
She knew it was pointless arguing with him, and she did want his company (even if it was a little strained!) for a little while longer at least.
The walk as was usual - for their little town a short one, and Mel suddenly had a longing to live in a huge city where everyone was miles away from each other and everything took hours to get to. It was a ridiculous thought and she laughed softly at herself.
They stood outside her front door and she looked up into his face. "Would you like to come in?"
"No I won't thank you." He bent to kiss her gently and she responded by putting her arms around his neck and holding him down for a little longer, her lips moving against his with her newly awakened passion.
He resisted for a second, maybe even two, but that was his limit. With a defeated little murmur he scooped her up and held her tight against the length of him as his mouth devoured hers.
As quickly as he started it, he ended it, as he pushed her away gently.
"You should go inside, it's cold out here."
She gave him a bitter little smile, her eyes still dark with the passion he'd set off in her.
"You're always telling me to go inside." She complained. "Treating me like a child."
He leaned into her. "You are NOT a child. I do not think of you, see you or treat you like a child." He gave a little sigh. "I keep sending you away, because I am afraid that if I stay with you too long, then I will not be able to stop from doing what I want so desperately to do."
He looked at her pointedly and she blushed, showing him that she knew exactly what he meant.
"Goodnight Jed." She reached up to kiss him quickly then went inside leaving him out in the cold.
Jed gave a little snort of self disgust, and walked away his head down, his plans being rearranged. Patience was not going to win the fair maid, he needed something more.
It was Christmas Eve and there was to be a party, a celebration of the recent engagements of three separate cousins. And the fact that it was Christmas, and simply because in the last year of recession, depressions and job losses, everyone needed something to cheer them up.
Jed was going with Claire and Jon, so when Mel dressed for the party, she did so with Jed in mind.
Her trousers were black and tailored and shiny giving her a slightly glamorous look and her top was a sparkly strappy affair that screamed out sexy!
Although they hadn't gone out of their way to keep their relationship secret, no one else seemed to have picked up on it.
The party was in full swing when they arrived and the music was loud and lively.
She and her parents were greeted with loud cheers and welcomes as was the nature of her family.
She had not been there for more than five minutes when the well meaning but horribly callous comments started.
"With your mum and dad again I see." Someone said loudly, and several people close by laughed, even though it was without malice, it still embarrassed her; and she began to think that maybe it had been a mistake to wear this top, as people started to look at her speculatively.
Claire Jon and Jed had arrived earlier and Jed sat at a table in the corner waiting for Mel to arrive. When she did, she took his breath away she looked so very lovely.
Someone spoke to her and she blushed whilst others around them laughed.
Jed frowned wondering what had been said to distress Mel and amuse the others.
As the evening wore on he got a snap shot of the family's view of Mel as on more than one occasion he heard "I see that Mel's still on her own." Or "It looks like little Mel's on a manhunt tonight judging by the way she is dressed, mind you I can't say that I blame her, she's always been so shy that she gets overlooked."
And so it went on, and of course they didn't just say it to each other, they openly teased her about it, not even realising that maybe they were being a little cruel and hurtful to her.
In the end Jed had had enough. He march over to the DJ and bellowed into his ear.
Mel was feeling miserable. She had spotted Jed soon after they had arrived, and she knew that he'd seen her. But he wouldn't come over to talk to her, and she felt gutted.
Suddenly the music died down and the DJ started to speak. "It seems that romance is indeed in the air tonight folks. Is Mel around?"
Several people turned to her and she blushed scarlet.
"Yes she's over here!" Someone called out.
There seemed to be a moment of conferring before the DJ switched his mike back on.
"Apparently the lovely lady is shy and needs to be encouraged to come up to the front folks."
The people around her smiled happily as they ushered her relentlessly towards the front of the stage.
She stopped dead in the middle of the dance floor as she spotted Jed with the mike.
The DJ showed him how to use it and then there was the brief hum of feedback.
"Mel!" Jed declared firmly. "You are the love of my life, I've waited ten years for you to grow up into the beautiful, sexy, intelligent --gorgeous woman that you are, and now I want to ask you to become my wife."
He looked at her his expression asking her and she nodded.
He leapt from the stage to come and kneel before her. "I love you Mel. Will you marry me?"
His husky voice was earnest, but his eyes were full of understanding, Mel realised that what he had done was about giving her back her self-pride with her family; and for that he had risked public humiliation should she refuse him, tinged with that though was a burning hope that called out to her.
She glanced around at the surprised but happy faces and then smiled down at her hero.
"I love you too; yes of course I'll marry you."
He laughed as he swept her into his arms and spun her around. He lowered her to the ground and kissed her, a kiss that was gentle but passionate, and full of promise.
"You may have waited ten years for me," she whispered tearfully. "But I've waited my whole life for you."
"And was it worth the wait?" he asked gruffly as the crowd cheered for them.
Her smile was like the sun breaking through the clouds. "Oh absolutely yes! Well worth the wait!"