Just then Connor came around a corner. “You came!” He ran over and picked her up, swinging her in a circle. “This is fantastic.”
She giggled and held onto him. “Didn’t feel fantastic, but it wasn’t terrible either.”
“That’s good. Really good. Follow me.” He held her hand and pulled her behind him to his room. He opened the door but didn’t enter. She couldn’t help but notice the picture of herself that he had taped to his mirror. The room wasn’t spotless, but it was tidy enough, a set of scrubs on the floor.
She froze in place. His bedroom, his bed. Her mouth went dry and she started trembling.
“Whoa. Take it easy there,” he whispered, kissing her ear. “Just wanted to show you. I hoped you’d step inside, but we can do that next time. I want you to be comfortable here. To feel this is your space as well as mine. I know we can’t have that today, but we will. I know it.”
“Of course.” Still holding her hand, he turned her around. “Where to, lovely lady?”
She smiled. “My place. With a stop for food. You showed me your room. I want to show you mine.”
“Sounds fabulous. Especially the food part.” He grinned and she had to mirror it, happiness bubbling in her belly now that the fear was further behind her.
Sooner than she expected, Ember held open the door to her bedroom. “This is it.”
Connor stepped in, lingering near the door. “Nice. Way bigger than mine.”
Ember bounced on the bed, tucking her legs beneath her. “Yeah, not by much, but I have the rest of the house.” She tucked a curl behind her ear and out of her eyes. “You can come closer. I’m not going freak out.” She patted the bed beside her.
“Oh, good.” He copied her, plopping down hard enough to bounce and making her wobble.
She laughed and grabbed for her pillow, hugging it and talking herself down. You’re not freaking out. He isn’t jumping on you, just the bed. Everything is good.
Poor Ember. Duncan has really made her life difficult. :(