I was awoken to a loud scream in the morning.
The light shot into my eyes as soon as I opened them. When I fixed myself up, my foot got caught in the blanket and I fell over with a dull thud onto the floor. I rolled over and got up with miraculous speed for a person that just woke up and succumbed to pain almost immediately after. I had nothing but the scream in mind, the high-powered shriek overpowering whatever happened last night as I ran to the door.
When I popped out, instantaneously, so did Chloe. We saw Janet and Jodie breathing heavily and with their hands to their chests, and Daniel hunched over on the couch. When the girls came home in the night, they must have gone straight to Chloe’s room and dozed off. Not one of them realising that Daniel was sleeping on the couch. And I had completely forgotten to write them a note or send them a text or anything.
“Daniel?” Chloe asked.
Daniel stood and waved, smiling. “Hi.”
I walked over to his side. “Sorry guys, I completely forgot to tell you he was here.”
“What’s going on?” Jodie asked.
“Well,” I said, “I was hoping for a better, much more calmer state of mind to tell you this in, but, we’re going to try and give it a second shot. Give us a second shot.”
They all exchanged knowing grins, and right then I knew they had been betting on us getting back together. Or some form of conversation revolving that.
After we washed up, everyone, including Daniel, huddled on the couch because Janet was going to make an announcement. I was nervous, thinking that she was moving away or something. Knowing that I wasn’t ready for something like that, it was the last thing I wanted to hear.
“Hurry up and tell us already,” Chloe said, “I’m freaking out!”
“Alright, alright,” Janet grinned. “Well, as you all know, Stanley and I have been together for quite some time now. Everything has been going great; so, we’ve decided that we’ll be moving in together. He asked me a couple days ago and I’ve been waiting for the right time to tell you guys all at once.”
It was silent for a good five minutes before Chloe said, “Shit.”
Janet frowned. “Not exactly the kind of reaction I was hoping for.”
“Congratulations!” Jodie stood, her arms out to hug a bubbling Janet.
“Thank you,” Janet said.
“Isn’t it a little too early?” Chloe asked. “Haven’t you guys been dating for only a few months?”
“Oh don’t be such a party pooper, Chloe,” Jodie said, one arm over Janet’s shoulder as if she was experiencing the same news as Janet. “When the timing is right, you just know. And Janet and Stanley obviously just know it’s right for them. Doesn’t matter if we don’t understand it.”
Daniel moved a hand to mine resting on my lap. As he took mine in his, I looked in his eyes, feeling a sense of comfort and love I had missed from him all this time. At least in this moment, I had answered the question about us, and I felt we were right. We smiled at each other.
Chloe stood and, like Jodie, hugged Janet. “Congratulations.”
I followed shortly after. “I’m really happy for you.”
“Congratulations, Janet,” Daniel said, slipping in a kiss on the cheek.
How odd it had seemed, as if Daniel and I were never apart. It was all the same. Back to the same Daniel and Anna, together again.
Janet bounced on the balls of her feet. “Congratulations to all of us! We should celebrate. Stanley booked us in for a dinner tonight. I’ll text everyone the details when I meet up with him.” She turned to Daniel. “I’ll make sure there’s an extra seat.”
“I’d love to catch up with Stanley but, I don’t want to intrude,” Daniel said.
Janet waved her hand. “Nonsense. I’d love it if you were there.”
I smiled and mouthed a ‘thank you’ Janet’s way. She nodded in response.
“Which means I need to go shopping,” Jodie said.
Chloe rolled her eyes. She always hated to be in a situation where she had less than twenty-four hours, and she felt unprepared. “Me too. Mind if I tag along?”
“Well, of course,” Jodie threw her arm over Chloe’s shoulder, “I’m going to need my stylist with me. Anna, are you coming?”
I looked at Daniel. “Maybe later.”
The girls looked between each other, as if suddenly realising the presence of Daniel and our newfound beginning to this relationship. I was still in my boxers and tank when the girls all left in unison; leaving me alone with Daniel.
Just when I was wondering where to start about what we needed to talk about, my stomach groaned, and I went red.
Daniel laughed. “Breakfast?”
I nodded. “Would be good.”
In the silence, Daniel and I shuffled around each other in the kitchen. I was cutting up some tomatoes, spring onion and shredding a bit of cheese while Daniel was taking watch over the eggs. We passed looks in each of our ways. I to him, and him to me. Comfortable silences were only amassed between people who were really comfortable with each other. The kind of people who didn’t deem this particular situation as awkward. Yet, unlike a comfortable silence, it felt like we were building up to something. I didn’t know what, but it was arriving with complicated speed.
When I chucked the chopped ingredients into the eggs, Daniel began mixing them in together. I smiled at him while I watched; panning my eyes between the stove and Daniel. I lingered on Daniel’s features after the fifth or sixth movement. His dark hair, in a perfect disarray, the cream-coloured skin of his face dented by dimples of swoon-worthy status, his Adam’s apple that bounced smoothly up and down as he swallowed, and those lips. When his tongue came out like a lizard’s to lick his lips, my heart went into a frenzy and my skin tingled.
Daniel caught me staring at him, and I quickly turned away, blushing. He chuckled at my blush and I looked back at him, giggling with him. Then we turned our attention back to the stove.
In a sudden jolt, Daniel and I pushed up against each other. He pulled me into him at my waist, and I ran my hands through his soft hair. Our kisses were urgent and sporadic, releasing the mask that hid this surreal stupor in its state. It was unreal. I was kissing Daniel, and he was kissing me.
We made our way around the kitchen island top, to the stool. I sat down while Daniel lifted his shirt over his head. I kissed every inch of his toned chest, his obvious but not obnoxious abs, I rounded my tongue over his nipples and I heard him moan.
“Oh, God, Anna,” he breathed, hungrily placing his lips onto mine.
Daniel was squeezing my thigh and pulling me into him, making me moan into his mouth and feel how incredibly hard he was. Then he began sliding his fingers up, and at the hem of my shorts, he ran his finger straight to my underwear. Hooking onto the thin band. The back of his fingers caressing the spot at the curve of my pelvis, and nearing closer to where I was being driven mad.
“…I love you,” he said, practically finishing my sentence.
“I love you.” I wanted to say it.
Just when I began second guessing if moving this fast was the best thing to do at this point, the smoke alarm started going off like crazy. I completely forgot that we were in the middle of cooking breakfast when this happened. I shot up and turned around, finding a show of the pan and towel caught on fire. We quickly ran to it; Daniel lifted the pan and put it in the skin just in time when I got out of the way and threw like a bucket of water on the towel.
I got a chair from the dining table and stood on it to reach the smoke alarm, attempting to whisk the smoke away with another towel. When the blaring ceased, I hopped off and leaned against the chair, staring at Daniel who was leaning against the kitchen island.
After we panted out the nerves and tension, we gradually started laughing.
“Phew,” I breathed, “that was lucky.”
Daniel sighed. “It’s too bad. I was really hungry.”
Oh, I know.