“And you didn’t join them?” he says, sitting down at the island while I’m still poking around the fridge.
“Nope, a night in a dust barn doing line dancing isn’t my cup of tea,” I finally say. “What are we going to eat for dinner?” I ask him, closing the fridge.
“It’s fully stocked.” He looks at me, getting up and opening the fridge. “What do you feel like eating?”
“Grilled cheese and tomato soup,” I tell him as he shuts the fridge.
He opens a couple of cabinets, taking out cans of soup. “Your wish is my command.” He smiles at me. “I’ll make the soup; you make the grilled cheese. See? Team building.” I roll my eyes at him.
“Fine,” I say, getting the bread and the cheese out. “Did you want American cheese or another type of cheese?” I ask him while he looks for a pot.
“Anything,” he says. He leans down, taking a pot out, and puts it on the stove. “So why didn’t you go with the girls?”
I shrug my shoulders. “I just wasn’t feeling it.” I take some butter out of the fridge. “Um …” I say, stuttering.
“What’s the matter?” He turns, looking at me.
“Nothing.” I shake my head. “It’s nothing.”
“I don’t believe you,” he says, opening the can and pouring it into the pot. “What were you going to say?”
“Okay, fine,” I say, buttering the bread. “You were engaged.”
He nods. “I was, not too long ago.”
“I heard she left you at the altar.” I’m not sure if I’m asking him or telling him.
“I see the gossip mill is spinning,” he says, stirring the soup, adjusting the temperature.
“So when we met in the bar,” I look down, buttering the bread, “it was a rebound.”
He stands with his back to the counter, his hip cocked out, folding his arms over his chest. “I mean, I get it.”
“What do you get?” he asks. “I wasn’t looking for sex that night. I wasn’t looking for anything. But,” he shrugs, “it worked out better than I thought it would.” He smiles at me and my heart starts to beat up.
“How long were you two together?” I ask him and swallow. My stomach is starting to fall.
“Four years,” he says. “We met in college right when I got accepted into medical school.”
“That’s a long time.” I look at him.
“It was and I thought I knew her,” he stirs the soup again, “I guess I was wrong.” He looks up again. “I knew that she didn’t like country life, but I thought she would somehow get used to it.”
“But if she didn’t like it here, why didn’t you move?” I ask him.
“Because this is where I’ve always wanted to be. I graduated Harvard at the top of my class. I could have gone anywhere, but this is where I always wanted to practice. This is where I want to raise my family. This is where I’m meant to be.”
“Are you okay?” I put the knife down to look at him.
He puts the temperature a bit higher as he stirs it, then turns to look at me. “The truth?”
“Of course,” I tell him.
“I am,” he says, crossing his legs at the ankle. “I wasn’t.” He crosses his arms over his chest, his biceps bulging. “I thought it was me.”
I shake my head. “It’s not you,” I tell him, and a smile comes over his mouth.
“You’d better stop there, or I might think you like me.” He pushes off from the counter as I roll my eyes.
“Like you? I tolerate you,” I tell him.
“Really?” he says, coming to stand next to me. “When I stand next to you, I see your heart speed up.” He uses his finger to rub down my neck exactly where my pulse is. “Right here.”
I move my neck sideways to get him away from me. “I just …”
He moves closer to me. “You just what?” His palm is now cupping my neck.
“This isn’t a good idea,” I whisper, but I’m too far gone. I wouldn’t be able to stop him even if I wanted to.
His other hand goes to the other side of my neck, and my hands go to his waist, my fingers gripping him. “This is about the best idea I’ve had in a really long, long time,” he says right before he pulls me to him and his lips crush mine. My tongue comes out to touch his, and with the touch of him, the feel of him, I’m lost. I’m lost in him; I’m lost in the kiss. We both are. My hand roams up his chest to wrap around his neck, and I moan into his mouth. He tries to move his head to the left when we both hear a car door close. We jump apart as if we just got caught. “Fuck,” he says as I run to the bathroom to make sure I have everything in place.