It took a day… an excruciating 24 hours, 15 minutes, 11 seconds and a half rack of diet cola for me to get myself situated outside his door. I raised my curled hand, preparing to knock and paused. Courtesy be damned, I gathered up my courage, reached for the knob and to my surprise, found the door unlocked.
I let myself in, not a care for the possible scene I could be intruding on and in all honesty hoping for an encore of the scrumptious peek-a-boo moment which triggered this entire dilemma in the first place. With the slightest bit of disappointment, I found Giles lying atop the covers of his bed, fully dressed, light on beside the bed, legs crossed casually, book in his lap and relaxed. He made no attempt to stand, no show of annoyance or pleasure at my presence, only marked the page with a slip of paper and set his book aside, giving me his undivided attention. The closing of the door sounded like the clang of a jail cell gate. There was no turning back now.
“You want to know what this means.” I held up the note, almost accusingly though not really sure what I was accusing him of. “You want to hear it and I get that, and you deserve to hear it and I get that too.”
He folded his hands in his lap, face as blank as the next words in my head.
“Um… here’s the thing,” I started and I my heart stopped, “…I think I love you.”
Pause for reaction.
“And you see, this is in the way scary of things because usually a declaration of love from me is followed up by a sword to the chest or bursting into flames, of which I don’t wish on you or anyone for that matter. So speaking from my heart isn’t ever easy and never ends well for all parties involved.” I gasped in the breath I’d needed many syllables ago and continued on. “So in risking grave bodily harm to you, and quite possibly losing the last threads of my remaining sanity, I have to tell you that I love you. Not like in the ‘I love you like I love mochas with extra whipped cream and sprinkles’ kind of way. I’m talking the ‘in-love’ type of love, with the butterflies in the tummy and the flutterings of the heart and the shutting off of all logical thought processes.” I realized I was rambling.
Pause again for reaction.
None given, again.
“When I’m not with you, I think about being with you. When I’m with you, I think of never leaving you. Whether you’re there or not, you’re always with me. You’re in here, Giles.” I placed my hand over my heart. “And though I don’t know what admitting this will bring next or how you feel about all this, I think you need to know it.”
I held out the infamous slip of mostly blank paper and gave it a helpless waggle. “That’s what this note means. Not in so many words but still, it’s there. I love you, Giles. So the question remains,” I said nervously. “I do. Do you?”
A long moment of silence hovered over the room like a shroud and I left my heart in my throat. What was worse was I couldn’t read his face, or hands, or any part of him for that matter because he only sat there, his eyes wide and staring at me like one of those creepy paintings in mom's old gallery. He was either thinking it over or his head was going to explode and I really hoped for option one because I’d planed on getting that cleaning deposit back. He stood up and took off his glasses. I waited to see the all-too-familiar appearance of Towlie, the frustrated Giles crutch but it never came. Instead, he folded his glasses and neatly placed them on the table bedside. With two strides he’d crossed the room and stood so close to me I could smell his cologne, something I didn’t recognize but definitely approved of.
“Perhaps this will answer your question,” he said softly. Then he leaned in, bowing his head and placed a pillowy kiss so gently to my lips a nun would have felt cheated.
“Could you repeat that,” I asked softly. With his face lighten by a gentle smirk, he returned to capture my lips again, only this time it was pure magic. Slow, methodical presses of his warm, plush lips massaging along mine and my mind failed me as my body took over. My nerves hummed with every suckle, my heart pumped my eagerness through every limb, every, nook, every cranny… my God… what he did to my cranny. The only thought I could manage was “More!” He must have sensed it because he pulled back and straightened up, offering the subtlest of smiles as he looked down at my flushed face.
“I do.” His voice glowed, if that’s even possible, like it somehow brightened the room. And before the reality sank in to what was happening between us, he wrapped me up in his arms and kissed me some more. Kissed me with such relief like it had been years in the making. Kissed me with such joy like it was finally our happy ending and the inspiring orchestra soundtrack was about to well up. Kissed me with such passion that my toes curled, my pulse thrummed and my cranny ached. But nothing was as sweet or as perfect as when he kissed me tenderly and whispered those three simple yet profound words, “I love you.”
And with all this, all I could think of was “When am I going to see him naked?”