Michael is just coming in the door. It bothers me slightly that he comes in without knocking. My parents keep the door unlocked most of the time, which is crazy, even in our nice neighborhood. However, my dad gave Michael a key before we even started dating, when he house-sat for us. My parents think nothing of it; in fact, they encourage him coming and going as he pleases. They see Michael as the son they never had. This concerns me, but only because I don’t want anyone to be disappointed if we don’t work out. I have a feeling if we did break up, they’d choose Michael.
He really is gorgeous. Michael is the first blonde guy I’ve ever been attracted to—I’m usually all about the tall, dark and mysterious. Michael is tall, blonde and there is nothing mysterious about him. He is so fun … so funny. Every girl sits up taller and giggles louder when he comes into the room. Even my mom. His eyes crinkle up when he laughs. I haven’t even started on his body. Oh my, the arms, the lower abdominals. I now know the term V-cut muscle, thanks to Michael. I didn’t even know I cared about all that until I saw him without a shirt and all of a sudden I did care. I cared a lot.
He asked me out a half dozen times before I said yes. If he’d just shown me his chest, we could have settled the matter much sooner. The fact that I’d be leaving for school troubled me, but there was also the little complication of getting involved with someone who worked for my dad … and the whole preacher thing itself.
Can I just clear the air right now by saying that I love Jesus? I do. I believe he’s way better than we give him credit for. I love Christians. Okay, I love SOME Christians and the rest only because I HAVE to. I love my parents, period. I just don’t want to be a preacher’s wife. Now that that’s settled, hopefully we can move on.
Michael has a thing for my feet. When I said we “make out,” it’s not that we do a ton of that, but a couple nights ago, he did this thing where he washed my feet—I know, it’s a little weird when I think about it, but I went with it and have no regrets. After he finished washing them, he slowly licked and sucked every single one of my toes. He took his sweet time, and I thought I was going to come unhinged. Never in a million years did I think I would want that done to me EVER, but land sakes, it did things to me. Things that I can’t even fully explain just yet.
Is sucking someone’s toes off even considered making out?
Michael’s eyes pop when he gets a look at me. Uh, yeah, he’s not going to have trouble finding anything now. Shoot. I didn’t think this dress through.
“You look amazing!” He kisses me and hugs me tight. I think I just heard him groan.
I hear my dad before I see him. “Hey kids, you ready?”
Michael jumps back like a scalded dog. I laugh and he shakes his head at me, knowing he’s caught.
I kiss his cheek and call out to my dad. “We’re ready.”
“Come on, let’s ride together,” he yells from the back door.
Michael leans into my ear and says, “I don’t know whether to ask you to wear this dress every day or to never ever wear it again.”
“Wow, who knew something that actually fits could cause such torment?” I grin mischievously.
“You’re going to get me into so much trouble.”
“I’m pretty sure you have my parents wrapped.”
We round the corner, and my dad is holding the back door open for us.
“Michael, looking good. Hey, Rosie, you’re looking good too.”
I could wear a tow sack and my dad would think I look good.
“Thanks, Dad,” I kiss his cheek.
“Anthony, how are ya?” Michael shakes my dad’s hand.
When we get to the restaurant, I go inside with my mom. Michael and my dad are finishing up a discussion and are taking too long to get inside. I am HUNGRY, and you don’t get in my way when I’m hungry. I am about to ask my mom if she sees the Roberts when I see him.
“MOM, Ian Sterling is here. That’s Ian Sterling. Look!” I am clutching her arm and about to pass out.
She takes a look at the hunk in front of us and shakes her head, “I don’t think so, dear. That is Jeff and Laila he’s talking to, though.”
“It’s him. I know it’s him.”
Just then Jeff and Laila turn around and spot my mom. “Charlie, hello!” They walk forward and take turns hugging her and then see me. “Sparrow, oh my word, you’re all grown up! I can’t believe it!” Jeff looks thoroughly pleased to see me.
Laila is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. I shyly hug her, and she comments on how pretty I am. “Thank you. You’re so beautiful,” I nervously say and then I feel silly.
Jeff turns around and says, “And we brought a dear friend of ours, Ian Sterling? Ian, come meet Charlie and Sparrow. Where is Anthony?”
Ian steps forward and takes my hand. I immediately feel my skin blaze; the flames start in my hair, down my face, neck, guts, all the way down my entire body … at least that’s how it feels. He is staring down into my eyes. The way he looks at me, I feel exposed, raw, awake…
I’ve been looking for you, his eyes are saying.
You’ve found me now, I’m certain my eyes are responding.
Actually, what he really says is, “Sparrow Fisher. There’s a story there, I’m sure. I’m Ian.” He grins and squeezes my hand. I melt. “Nice to meet you.”
“I’ve been looking for you,” I say. NO! Did I just say that out loud? Ohgodohgodohgodohgod. Please tell me I did not just say that out loud.
He smirks. Oh, he’s so hot. Pretty, even. However, there is nothing but raw masculinity bouncing off him. “Have you? Well, now you’ve found me. I wasn’t aware we knew each other? I would have remembered this face.” He runs his eyes from my head down to my toes and back up again, painfully slow. “I would have remembered you for sure,” he leans down and whispers.
I’m dying. I wish a hole would swallow me up now. I’ve got to find a way out of this. I can’t tell him…
“Jeff!” My dad’s boisterous voice fills the air and I breathe a sigh of relief. They hug and I feel an arm go around my waist. I assume it’s my mom until Michael says, “And you are?”
I’d completely forgotten Michael. Oops.
Ian lets go of my hand to shake Michael’s and my hand has never felt so bereft. I hear Michael say, “Sparrow’s boyfriend,” but it sounds very far away. My eyes have never left Ian’s face. Ian looks back at me, and he seems amused.