Throwing my hands in the air, I state, “Be serious!”
He closes the distance fast. Jake is standing so close to me that I can feel his breath on my face.
He says, “Baby, when it comes to you and me, I’ve never been more serious.”
I’m having a hard time thinking straight when he is close. So close. And the way he’s staring at me. Correction. Staring at my lips.
I place my hand on his chest and close my eyes to steady myself. But now I’m touching him. My hand is flat on his chest. I can feel his steady heartbeat underneath. This feels very intimate. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best idea to try to clear my head.
Opening my eyes, I meet Jake’s stare head on. “Is what Sam said true? Were you really with all of those girls?” I blurt.
He turns away from me and runs his hands through his hair. His hair is now poking out at all angles. Speaking with his back to me, he says, “Yes, it’s true. I was with a lot of girls in high school. And those few years I was at college, there was a lot of women there too. But, I don’t think I can give you an exact number.”
Okay, at first I was starting to feel bad about opening my mouth, but now. Now, I want to kick him between his legs. Now. He’s just being mean.
I say, “Wow. Okay.”
He turns to look at me. Something flashes before his eyes but it’s gone before I can name it.
“Can you blame me for asking? I mean, really?” I accuse.
Continuing, I state, “Is that what I am to you?”
He stands there staring at me. His mouth opens then closes shut, like he wants to say something but is unsure of what.
Spinning on my heel, I say, “Forget it. Forget I asked.” I start stomping off towards my car, muttering under my breath as I go.
I am SUCH an idiot! Thinking he meant all of those things he said to me. Thinking he really cares for me. Making out with him when I’m with Sam.
Jake runs in front of me and puts his hands up in the air, palms facing me. I pull up short. He starts walking cautiously towards me as if he were approaching a scared animal.
“Maddie, when I saw you at The Mill, I felt like I was back in high school. I felt like here I was this average guy who had no chance with the brilliant, beautiful girl in school. But then, you started talking to me. And we started hanging out. And I thought, well, I thought maybe I had a chance. When I kissed you for the first time and you kissed me back, I knew I had to go after what I want. What I have wanted for a long time. You, Maddie.”
Jake is now standing in front of me; the toes of our shoes are touching. Upon listening to his entire speech, I have kept my head down looking at the ground as if it holds all the answers. He puts his fingers on my chin and tilts my head up.
Jake sighs. “I haven’t been with anyone since you have been back in town, Maddie. I haven’t wanted to be with anyone. Anyone except you.”
Swallowing nervously, I stammer, “You think I’m brilliant?”
He shakes his head. Tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear, Jake says, “After all of that, this is what you get from it?”
Looking into those chocolate brown eyes, I feel like I could get lost in those eyes. I feel like taking off his shirt and running my hands over his stomach. I feel like I want to do lots of naughty -. Get a grip, Maddie!
“Maddie,” Jake whispers, “what about me?”
He words swim through my daydream haze and my heart realizes what he is asking before my brain does. Before my brain can protest, I answer, “Jake, I care about you. I care about you a lot.”
Jake explains, “Maddie, you care about saving the whales or saving the planet.” Reaching out he places his hand over my heart, he says, “I want to know how you really feel about me.”
“Jake,” I start. “I’ve been back home for two months. We have spent a lot of time together during those two months and it’s been great - really great. I believe I have gotten to know a side of you that other people don’t see. And that thrills me. I’ve told you things that I have never shared with anyone. And, you already know it, but I’ll say it anyway, I am attracted to you - really attracted to you. But, it’s only been two months! We were just acquaintances in high school.”
Now, he’s smirking at me, giving me that damn, sexy lopsided grin. He thinks this is entertaining, does he?! Now, I REALLY want to kick him.
“Let’s be reasonable about this,” I argue.
“Screw being reasonable,” Jake says.