She got off the tub dripping water on her mat. Grabbed a towel off the rack and wrapped it around her and ran to open the door. Both Ryan and Henry were standing outside waiting for her, exasperated.
‘Sorry, sorry, I fell asleep in the bath. Come in, I’ll be out in 2 minutes.’ she mumbled at them and ran into the kitchen. Thanking God that she had set the timer for the oven on, she switched the oven off, took the Pasta Bake out of the oven, put it on the table and ran back into her room. Her favorite pair of fluffy home pants and her loose top sat on her dresser. She grabbed them, put some cream on, dressed up and went out to meet the guys, embarrassed…
Henry could only hope he wasn’t actually blushing. He could feel the blood that was all of a sudden, rushing through him at a speed so fast, he was sure it wasn’t normal. Emma had rushed back into her bedroom but the sight of her, when she had opened the door, was still stuck to his brain, glued on.
Ever since that first night when he had seen her at the bar, he had somehow almost felt responsible for her. He knew she was keeping a big secret from him. But that had never bothered him. He knew she’d tell him if and when she felt comfortable and wanted to. Her past didn’t matter to him. At the same time, something told him that that past had had a huge impact on her. And he knew that she wasn’t over it yet. And that made him want to just take her in his arms, comfort her and make sure that she was alright for the rest of eternity.
He had never felt this passionate about anyone before. Especially someone he had only know maybe 2 months. And yet, Emma brought out many emotions in him.
Somehow, all of these weeks, he had managed to keep it about him and her and building and maintaining a friendship with her. From that first minute, he had known he had feelings for her. And after that first month, he had known he was, in fact, head over heels for her. But he had done everything he could to keep that part of him hidden away, a secret. He valued her friendship.
But seeing her in nothing but a towel, dripping water at the door had brought all those feeling to the front. He was proud of himself that at that moment, it had been more of a feeling of wanting to take off his jacket and hand it to her than to grab hold of her, carry her to the bedroom and make her his. But the minute she had run into her bedroom, that was all he could now think of.
He peeked at Ryan sitting on the sofa beside him watching TV. He was sure that if Ryan had any idea about the thoughts he was having right now, the guy would probably kick his ass out the door.
Ryan and Emma’s relationship intrigued him. He had never met a guy and a girl who were this close and had been for this many years. When Emma had told him that Ryan had been her best friend for the last 20 years, it had shocked him. He looked up to them for maintaining that closeness, that confidence, and that love even for each other for almost 2 decades. He himself had never been good at keeping friends. More often than not, something or the other had come as the priority. That was one of the reasons he had been working extra hard to keep it clean with Emma.
He felt this connection with her that he had never felt. She had become his friend fast and his confidante even faster. She made him feel like he was worth something. And just her presence in his life encouraged him to be a better man.
And yet, despite all that, all that he could think of, sitting on her sofa staring at her TV, was the sight of her in front of him, dripping wet in a towel.
He shook his head, trying to rid himself of his thoughts, failing at it miserably. He knew that she was definitely not ready for a relationship and this might very well ruin their friendship. But now, he was unsure how long he could actually hide his feelings…