“So I’ve been thinking…” she says, reaching across the diner table and stealing one of his fries.
“Oh yeah?,” he replies, moving his plate away from her.
“I think it would be better if we keep this platonic.”
“You’re fine with that?”
“You know what platonic means?”
“I think I do, yes.”
“There’ll be no…. you know.”
“I do know. It’s cool.”
“You see all of this?” she asks, punching the “this” and moving her hand up and down parallel to her body.
“I see it.”
“And you’ve thought about what’s under this?”
“Once… I think it was a Wednesday.”
“You’re really okay with this?”
“Yup. Who do you think invented the concept of platonic anyway?”
“Steve Platon. He’s from Jersey.”
“Do you at least have any questions for me?”
“Can you pass me the ketchup?”
She stands in front of the full-length mirror, ignoring the clutter behind her. “The best meals usually leave a messy kitchen” she once explained.
Black lace underwear. Black mostly-lace bra.
Her hair is still a little wet, but it feels good in the oppressive heat.
She doesn’t want to get dressed yet.
She grabs a bottle and sits on the bed. She puts some cool lotion in her hand and rubs it on her right leg.
He asked her once, late at night when his filter had turned in early, if her skin felt as good as it looked.
They both let the “Even better” hang in the air.
She finishes the other leg. Her arms. Her chest.
She walks over to the closet.
With a finger, she adjusts the back of one side of her underwear, a little disappointed that no one was in the audience for that show.
There it is.
The green dress.
It’s long. Especially for her.
The less he sees, the more he wants.
But it’s just the right amount of low-cut up front.
She pulls it on.
She even tries to hold the smirk back this time, but it won’t be denied.
Earrings – big ones – are put in.
She messes her hair with her hand.
Yes. That’s it.
In his head, he’s compiling a list of places he’d rather be than this party. It’s a housewarming that was rescheduled twice. He’s here because he’s been informed that friends will be offended if he doesn’t attend the official unveiling of a house he’s already been to numerous times.
He’s wondering if they are going to serve any food that he recognizes when he notices someone entering the room.
“Oh crap…” he says, almost entirely to himself.
She walks towards him. He’s never seen this dress before.
“Don’t stare. Don’t stare.” is largely ignored.
“Oh, hello, friend,” he says, trying his very hardest to sound cool.
She takes the glass out of his hand and has a sip. She gives the glass back and takes the napkin out of his other hand.
She drops it on the floor.
“Ooops,” she says, as she bends over to pick it up.
She bends all the way over, he notices.
A little longer.
Then back up.
She passes him back the napkin, letting her hand linger on his.
She walks across the room, to the sliding door out to the deck, and opens it.
She looks back over her shoulder.
Her eyes lock on his.
A light bite of her lip.
She turns and walks outside.
He downs the rest of his drink.
He finds her looking up at the stars. He gets as close as he dares.
She turns towards him, takes his hands and moves in.
“I love this song,” she whispers.
She starts dancing with him.
They move together.
She gets in impossibly close, they way only certain women can.
They move together.
She runs her hand up his back, his neck, to the back of his head. She plays with his hair.
She feels it.
And pulls away.
She takes a few steps and leans over the railing a little, watching the lights from across the harbour dancing on waves.
He walks up behind her.
He puts his hands on her hips.
He leans in and kisses the side of her neck.
She swallows an “Mmmmmmm.”
She takes his hands in hers and moves them painfully slowly up her sides.
Then around her front, pressing them against her chest.
He grabs her and spins her around.
He pushes her back to, and up against, the wall.
He kisses her hard, as the breeze picks up a little and blows the bottom of her dress around.
They are tied up in each other and the covers, as the afterglow rivals daylight.
Her head is on the pillow next to his.
She licks lightly chapped lips. A thin gloss of sweat stings the scratches down his back.
“You lied about the platonic thing?” she says.
“So did you,” he replies.
“You weren’t worried about me friend-zoning you?”
He rolls towards her, runs his hand through her hair, then gently pulls it, moving her head a little. He leans in and kisses the side of the neck.
“Because,” he whispers “I know where the exits are.”