“You need something?” Well, he managed more than one word. He swallowed hard.
My eyes followed the movement of his throat and I had to gulp a mouthful of saliva in response. This was stupid. We were two grown adults, regardless if we were still in our teens. Acting like two strangers after what happened was idiotic. “Can we talk?” I didn’t know what I planned on saying, but anything was better than this.
“Sure.” He opened his door a little more and disappeared inside.
Shuffling my feet, I followed him and closed the door behind me. I’d been in his room before. Uncluttered and simple, just like the man leaning against his desk, the sunlight streaming through the window behind him.
“What did you need?” his asked, his drawl a little more pronounced with a tone of voice that sounded either bored or resigned. I couldn’t tell which.
Everything about this made me nervous, but I couldn’t say why. I licked my lips to wet them, noticing his eyes following my tongue. In a moment of bravery—or sheer stupidity—I blurted, “Do you want to go out tonight?” I lived my life calm, cool, and collected. I didn’t get nervous or word vomit whatever popped into my head. Apparently tonight, the rules had changed and I did not approve one iota.
“I don’t feel like goin’ out to a party. That’s not my thing,” he answered, leaning back a little more, his hands resting on the flat desk top behind him. His words and tone hinted that he was holding himself back, but his posture told me that he hadn’t closed himself off to me. Finally, my psych classes were being put to good use.
“I didn’t say anything about a party. Did I?” I grinned, feeling a little braver.
His lips pulled up into his own smile and he shook his head. “No, I don’t guess you did. What did you have in mind?”
“After the stunt my grandmother pulled earlier when she decided to give us both a heart attack, I figured we could use a small break. I know we also need to make up for the studying we missed, but that can wait until tomorrow. Tonight, no thinking about school, my grandmother, or anything else. Fun is the name of the game. We’ll go out and let loose. Start off with dinner and then decide what to do from there. What do you say?”
His smile grew and I knew he’d go along with my plan. “Fine. We’ll go out and then how about you take me out to Santa Monica Pier. You said it wasn’t too far away.”
“Deal. Now go get ready.”
“This is my room. You’re the one that needs to git.”
I scanned the room briefly and chuckled. “True. I’ll see you in an hour?”
“I’ll be here.”
Leaving his room through his door, since I knew for a fact that I’d locked my side of the bathroom earlier, I walked next door and entered. No thinking. Tonight was only about doing.