You know in all those romance novels how people feel ‘sparks’ the first time they touch? Yeah, totally stupid. And no, I didn’t feel fucking sparks. Jim isn’t a lightning rod and last time I checked I didn’t have an electrical plug coming out of my ass connected to an outlet in the wall. I felt soft, warm skin and a hand that engulfed my small one and held on tight. I felt his handshake all the way up my arms and somewhere in my vagina. He held my hand and didn’t let go even after the two second time limit for proper handshakes ended.
“I’m not having sex with you tonight,” I blurted.
He squeezed my hand and leaned in close, his cheek brushing against mine until his lips were right by my ear.
“What makes you think I want to have sex with you?”
I should have been offended by his words, but I wasn’t because I actually believed him. He seriously did NOT want to have sex with me. It was an anomaly and it made me want to know more about him. He pulled away from me and dropped my hand, sticking his own hands into the front pockets of his jeans.
“Look, I’m not into one-night stands. Sure, they’re fun at the time but the next morning, you always wake up feeling used.”
He started backing away from me, pushing his way through crowds of drunk college students.
“Besides, I don’t even know your name!” he shouted before disappearing behind two drunk girls dry humping each other while a group of equally drunk guys cheered them on.
I looked behind me down the hall where Claire had disappeared, and then I stared off in the general direction of where Jim had been swallowed up by the group of idiots. Back and forth I looked, trying to decide which way to go. I know I should have ran down the hall and stood guard outside of the room Claire entered with Mr. Cherry Popper, but the thought of listening to what was going on behind that closed door made me want to throw up all the beer I’d consumed tonight. If I followed Jim out to his car while he got his change of clothes, I’d have to give him my name and actually talk to him. What he said about one-night stands was obviously true, but at least they were quick and painless. You found a guy, you had sex and then you went on your merry way and didn’t have to deal with all the baggage and bullshit. In the end, I made the only choice I could make. I tossed my empty beer cup onto the ground and pushed the dry-humpers out of the way, running outside to try and find Jim and see what his deal was.
After ten minutes of jogging up and down the block, searching row after row of cars parked bumper to bumper for the party, I located Jim. He’d already changed into dry jeans and was in the process of pulling off his wet shirt.
I stopped at the front of his car and stared at his bare chest. I’m a sucker for muscular men. Give me a big, hulking beast of a man who can toss me over their shoulder any day. Jim wouldn’t be cracking any walnuts with the sheer power of his biceps anytime soon, but he was in great shape. He was tall and lean and had a six-pack I wanted to run my fingers over. I may or may not have let out a whimper when he grabbed his clean shirt from the backseat and covered himself up.
He spotted me as soon as he got the shirt pulled down and that damn smile lit up his face again. I was going to swoon like those motherfuckers in romance novels. My legs were going to give out and I’d need smelling salts or some shit.
“So, before we get out of here and get some coffee, do you think I could get your name?” he asked as he closed his back door and walked up to me.
“Liz, my name is Liz. Just coffee, right?”
He nodded as he grabbed my hand and laced his fingers through mine.
“Yep, just coffee. I know a great place two blocks from here.”
And that’s how it all started. We walked to the coffee shop and spent three hours talking before heading to Jim’s apartment and having the most amazing sex of my life. True to his word, though, Jim didn’t do one-night stands. When I woke up the next morning and tried to quietly pull the covers back and sneak out, he jumped out of bed and started getting dressed.
“Are you hungry? I’m starving. The diner across the street makes the best pancakes. Breakfast is on me and then we can figure out what to do the rest of the day.”
Normally, I would have found his assertiveness off-putting and told him to suck it, but I couldn’t. I was fucking starving and the thought of a huge plate piled with pancakes made my mouth water. He held my hand the whole walk down two flights of stairs and across the street to the diner. When he excused himself to go to the bathroom after we ordered, he came over to my side of the table and kissed the top of my head. Over breakfast, we made plans to spend the rest of the day together taking a nap and watching movies. I eagerly arranged these things with him and didn’t even realize what was happening. I was falling in love with a guy I just met. A guy who held open doors, pulled out my chair, asked me about myself and my dreams and refused to let our night together be something cheap.
I haven’t spent more than a few nights apart from Jim in over twenty years and it’s mostly thanks to Claire. After our day of cuddling and watching movies, I swear to God I started to break out in hives. I’d never had a relationship. I didn’t know the first thing about spending more than a few hours with a guy. What in the hell would we even talk about? He’d get bored with me and walk away right when I got attached. I snuck into the bathroom during our movie marathon and made a frantic call to Claire. She told me to stop being an asshole and give him a chance to prove me wrong.
And prove me wrong he did. It was the best non-one-night stand I’d ever had. He tells me when I’m being an asshole and I tell him when he’s pissing me off. He’s my rock and he keeps me grounded. Aside from Claire, he’s the only person who knows just by looking at me what I’m feeling. Sometimes it’s a blessing, but with everything going on right now, it’s a fucking curse.