First Birthday–Chapter 10

 

CHAPTER TEN

            I told Cait I would give her a ride home after she ended her shift at Franco’s.  She had finished up just before midnight, and on the way out she said she wasn’t quite ready to call it a night.  She needed to wind down for a while, and I asked if she wanted to come by the cabin.  I asked before I could go through a mental checklist about the state of the cabin’s repair, and when she accepted the invitation I convinced myself that the place couldn’t be that bad.  After the quick drive I showed Cait inside, and while she took a look around on a self-guided tour I tried to be where she was not, looking for any mess or ode to bachelordom that would be a turn off. 

            “Can I have one of your beers?”  Cait asked from the kitchen while I checked the hall bathroom for basic supplies. 

            “Help yourself,” I answered.  A moment later I had reappeared in the kitchen.

            “Done hiding the pictures of old girlfriends and everything?”  Cait asked.  She twisted the top of a beer. 

            “Something like that,” I said. 

            “Sorry, do you want a beer?”  Cait asked, taking a sip from hers.

            “Sure I’ll take one.”

            Not letting a girl drink alone was one of my tenants. 

            “Here, take this one,” Cait said handing me her beer.  “I’ll start over.”

            I took the beer like I was told, and watched Cait grab another from the fridge.  She twisted the top, and deftly flipped the cap into a nearby trashcan. 

            “Nice TV you got there,” Cait gestured towards the only nice piece of furniture I had.   “Want to see what’s on?” 

            I was relieved that the cable had been hooked up.  I didn’t know that we were at the point where we could talk without some type of crutch, and the television would be perfect.  I grabbed the remote off coffee table and sat at one end of the couch.  Cait situated herself on the couch right next to me. I started to flip through the channels, not knowing what I was looking for.  Cait suggested I stop on a Friends rerun, and I was just happy to not make the decision. 

            “I like your bare bones decorating style,” Cait said, looking around the room at the empty walls and untreated windows. 

            “I have a lot of stuff on order,” I said. 

            “I’m sure,” Cait surveyed the emptiness again.   “Don’t you get bored here?  Or, a little lonely all by yourself?” She asked.  

            “I’m not all by myself.” 

            “Well not now,” Cait smiled.  “But what about when I’m not here entertaining you?” 

            “Maybe you’ll just have to keep me company more often,” I said. 

            I turned away from the television to look at Cait, and she was looking intently back at me, seemingly gauging my sincerity.

            “Careful what you ask for,” Cait said.  “I’ll start showing up unannounced, drink all your beer,” she raised her bottle towards me. 

            “Wouldn’t bother me,” I said.  “I like having you around.” 

            “Are you giving me a hard time?”  Cait asked examining me closely again.  “I can’t quite tell when you are joking, and when you aren’t.” 

            “I’m not joking,” I tried to sound as sincere as possible.  “I like you.  A lot.” 

            Cait smiled when I said this, and then looked away from me, leaning forward to place her beer on the coffee table.  When she settled back onto the couch she didn’t quite meet my eye, and some of her hair had fallen onto her face. 

            “I like you a lot too,” she said. 

            Cait smiled and pushed the loose hair out of her face.  She reached for a pillow from the other end of the couch, and propped it up against me. 

            “Can I lean on you?” Cait asked sweetly. 

            “Absolutely,” I answered.

            Cait had already leaned into me before I could answer, and once she had settled herself she reached for her beer, and tucked it in next to her. 

            “Will you take me home after I finish this beer?” she asked. 

            I told her I would, wanting her to stay, but not wanting to push her comfort level.  As she sipped her beer, and we watched the television my hand found its way to the small of Cait’s back.  Her shirt had been slightly pulled up when she laid down, and I was soon tracing circles with my fingertips on the exposed skin above her jeans.  This made me think about touching other parts of Cait’s body, but while my mind became stimulated, Cait’s seem to relax.  Within a minute or two she had stopped commenting about the Friends episode, her breathing had slowed.  I knew she had fallen asleep. 

            It wasn’t exactly the effect I was hoping to have on Cait.  I thought that I would just wake her up and drive her home, but when I looked down at her sleeping I couldn’t bother her.  I decided that if I could get up without rousing her then I’d just let her sleep on the couch for as long as she wanted.  I carefully supported Cait’s head as I slid out from underneath her pillow, and though she re-adjusted her position slightly on the couch she did not wake up.  I returned with an extra blanket to cover her up, and then put a note next to her bag on the kitchen counter telling her that I would drive her home whenever she wanted.  I checked on her one more time, and then went to bed. 

            I was sleeping lightly, subconsciously listening for Cait out in the living room, but also not being able to completely shake thoughts of her from my mind.  I thought that I should have slept awkwardly on the couch.  At least I would have been close to her.  A couple hours after I had left her on the couch I heard a soft knock on my bedroom door.  The door, which had not been completely shut, creaked open a few more inches. 

            “Are you ready to go home?”  I asked. 

            Cait opened the door the whole way, and I propped myself up in bed slightly and flicked on a lamp. 

            “It’s so late,” Cait said.  “Could you just take me in the morning?” 

            “Uh, yeah, sure do you want to,” I didn’t know what I was going to say.  Luckily Cait interrupted me. 

            “Great, could I borrow a t-shirt or something to sleep in?” she asked.

            “Yeah, yeah sure.  There’s a pile of clean stuff on that chair.  Take whatever you want.” 

            “Thanks,” Cait made her way over to the chair, and didn’t take any time at all before deciding on the shirt that was on top of the pile. 

            “I might have something else,” I said.  “Do you want to me to take a look in the closet?  I might have something that will be more comfortable.” 

            “This’ll be fine,” Cait assured me.  “Don’t look while I change,” she said then, and turned away from me. 

            I obliged her wish for a moment before looking back to see her pull her Franco’s Pizza shirt over her head.  I took in every inch of her nearly barely back, and tried to look away again, but could not.  She pulled on my t-shirt quickly, and it was very big on her, falling halfway down her thigh.  She then slid out of her bra, pulling it through the sleeve of my t-shirt, and carefully setting it aside with her work shirt.  While she started to undo her jeans I looked turned away from her, thinking I was seconds away from getting caught. 

            “Ok, I’m decent,” she said after a moment. 

            I looked back in Cait’s direction and she was standing right next to the bed, smiling and looking amazing in one of my well worn t-shirts. 

            “Should I kill the light?” she asked. 

            I told her she could, and while she turned it off I moved slightly more towards the center of the bed.  I took a pillow from the other side of me, and moved it where Cait would be laying.  She didn’t seem interested in the pillow, however.  She pulled aside the bed sheet, quickly jumped in bed, and curled up next to me, laying her head on my chest. 

            “Can you rub my back until I fall asleep again?”  She asked. 

            I agreed, and when my hand found the right spot in the small of her back Cait exhaled softly. 

            “Cait,” I said after we had been silent for a minute. 

            “Yeah,” she looked up at me.

            “Goodnight,” I said.

            Cait was about to say something but I found myself interrupting her with a kiss.  We parted for a moment, but before I knew it we had both turned to face each other, and we were kissing more passionately.  The innocence of our first kiss had suddenly been replaced by urgency.

***

            I woke up the next morning to sounds coming from the kitchen.  Sometime after my hands had found their way underneath my own t-shirt that Cait was wearing, but before anything else serious had happened Cait had suggested that we slow down a little bit.  It wasn’t easy to stop.  It felt like one hand literally had to pull the other away from her, but when Cait settled back in next to me, and my heart rate returned to normal I found it a little easier to accept her decision.  Cait fell asleep quickly again, and this time with her right next to me I found it easier to follow her into slumber. 

            I left the bedroom in the morning after a quick stop in the bathroom, and walked to the kitchen where Cait was working at the stove.  She still was wearing only my t-shirt, but had pulled her hair up into a ponytail.  She was scrambling some eggs in a frying pan, and I could smell toast and a pot of coffee as well. 

            “Good morning,” Cait said when she heard me come into the kitchen. 

            She didn’t turn away from her eggs, and I walked up behind her, and grabbed her lightly at the hips before planting a quick kiss on the back of her neck. 

            “Good morning,” I said, before kissing the same spot on her neck again. 

            “Don’t distract me while I’m cooking breakfast,” Cait said.  She giggled slightly, and made a weak attempt to pull away from me. 

            “You didn’t have to go to all this trouble,” I said.  I stepped away from her, and grabbed a mug out of the cupboard. 

            “I know, but you’re so sweet, and I was pretty hungry.” 

            I laughed, and asked Cait if she wanted a cup of coffee.  She did, and I poured us both a cup while she pulled the hot toast out of the toaster, and served up the eggs.  Without a dining room, or any of the requisite furniture we found ourselves back in front of the television, eating off the coffee table.             

            “I guess your dining room is on order,” Cait said, and she started laughing through a bite of her toast before she could even finish. 

            “Well, this coffee table kind of suits me just fine,” I said. 

            “Me too,” Cait agreed.  “How’re the eggs?” 

            “They’re great,” I said, and I meant it.  The eggs were great. Even the coffee tasted a little better. 

            “I’m just glad you had something to make.  I wouldn’t have wanted to steal your car so I could go pick us up something.” 

            “You could’ve taken it,” I said. 

            “Nah, I like you driving me around,” Cait said.

 She smiled at me again, and I realized how beautiful she looked in the morning light coming through my windows.  Her eyes shone an even truer shade of green than I was used to seeing.   

“What are you looking at?”  She asked.  “Is my hair messed up?” 

“No.  You look beautiful,” I said. 

“Shut up,” Cait blushed a little bit, and went back to eating her breakfast. 

I had to hurry to make work in time after dropping Cait off at her house.  A goodbye kiss on doorstep had ended up lasting a few minutes, and by the time I got over to The Lake Club I had to power walk in from the employee lot to make it on time.  When I rounded the corner I saw R.J. rolling a couple putts on the practice green.  He noticed me right away, and waved me over. 

“Hey, Dave.  We’ve been waiting for you,” he said.

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