I lost my husband two years ago in a car accident. Two weeks after we were married. On the day of my student’s finals. No, it’s not okay, and I’m not okay. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve basically been going from day to day since then.
But along comes Bark Ruffalo, an adorable little dog that belongs to my new coworker -- my cute coworker -- Remy Webb. Soon, I’m spending a lot of time with Remy and discussing my deceased husband, and finding myself coming alive again.
But, as with any new relationship, complications arise. Things hit a boiling point with my neighbor, my homophobic coworker targets both Remy and me, and I’m still not even sure if I’m ready to be in a relationship. How can I keep my husband’s memory alive if I’m with someone else?
As we got in the car, I found myself looking over at Remy with a smile.
“That was really fun. I don’t want the night to end.”
Remy smiled, and took a deep breath. I could see his cheeks flush. “Well, you could come back to my place if you want.”
Back to his place. Wow. I hadn’t gone home with a man in over two years. And even then, I was monogamous with Sean, so I had about seven years of zero experience with how these things worked. But I found myself trusting Remy. He wouldn’t hurt me, or force me to go through with anything.
We drove through the quiet streets around Zharia’s house, to the busy downtown with people coming and going to different bars, crossing streets, and generally having a good time. Then, we were at Remy’s house.
“You still want to come inside?”
I looked at Remy, and took a deep breath. “Yeah.”
I carried Bark up to the front steps, and we walked inside.
Remy’s place had transformed since I’d been here last. Paintings were hung meticulously, books were scattered purposefully on various surfaces, and everything had a comfortably clean feel. “Can I grab you something to drink? I actually have a bottle of sweet wine if you want some.”
“Sure, that’d be great.”
“Have a seat. I’ll be right back.”
I sat down on the couch, feeling nervous about where this all might lead.
I found myself feeling very grateful I had thought to prepare for the possibility of having sex with Remy tonight. I had showered and thoroughly cleaned everything and everywhere. It had been kind of fun, as I hadn’t had to do any sexual prep work for the last two years.
And now, because of the three glasses of wine, I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted it to go. And while I was concerned that I might be a little rusty or out of it, as it had been more than two years, I also found myself looking forward to what might happen. I also didn’t want my sling in the way, so I took it off and set it on the couch next to me.
I heard some music begin to play as Remy came back to the living room, carrying my fourth glass of wine and his third. He handed me my glass and sat on the couch, body mostly facing me.
“Norah Jones,” I commented. “Nice choice. I love her. Listen to all her stuff.”
“Me too,” he said, taking a sip of wine while I took a large gulp. Then another.
“This is really nice,” he said. “I really like spending time with you.”
I took two more large gulps of wine. “I really like spending time with you, too.”
He scooted a little closer on the sofa, so his leg that was propped up on the couch was now touching my leg.
“In fact, I like spending time with you more than I like spending time with anyone else right now.”
I took a deep breath and found it very unsteady. “You know ... I’ve been feeling the same way lately. I’ve been feeling kind of guilty talking to you so much about everything that’s been going on with me because I haven’t gotten to hear much about you and get to know you.”
“Oh, I think we have time for that.” He leaned forward slightly, but seemed to be waiting for me to make a move. “There are plenty of ways to get to know someone.”
I set my wine glass down and scooted forward until our faces were very close. “I ... I can think of one way I’d like to get to know you better.”
He grinned a sideways grin. I felt a tightness in my pants at the sight of it and the prospect of everything I was thinking. “What did you have in mind, Ash?”