Quench Me by Amy – Chapter 13

Republisher’s Note: Danny and Michelle finally make progress towards each other.

Quench Me by Amy – Chapter 13

It’s almost eight o’clock when I ring the doorbell of Danny’s house. I can hear him scrambling around in the house as he makes his way to the door.

When he opens the door, the surprise on his face is evident. “Michelle?”

He’s wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and his feet are bare, and it looks like he got dressed in a hurry. “Not used to having to answer the door yourself?” I chuckle. “Maybe you should rehire the butler.”

He smiles at me and says, “What are you doing here?”

“I’ve been to two different bakeries, and one coffee shop,” I say gesturing to the packages in my hands. “So, my question is, have you had breakfast?”

“Well, no,” he answers. “I wasn’t expecting to see you so soon after we talked this morning.”

“It seems that your voice does strange things to me, Danny,” I say with a mischievous grin. “When I hung up the phone, I wasn’t satisfied, so I jumped out of bed and into my car. Breakfast is kind of an excuse to be here, but the truth is, I just wanted to be with you. You can kick me out if you want.”

“I don’t think so, Michelle,” he says, as he takes the coffee from me. “Get in here.”

We settle on the sofa, practically no space between us, and spread the doughnuts on the coffee table in front of us. I feed him bites of my chocolate covered and he feeds me bites of his raspberry filled. We talk and laugh, totally comfortable with each other, as if we’ve been together for years. It feels wonderful. If he’s ever going to be able to let me into his heart, he needs to feel at ease with me, and for this moment, it seems as though he does.

“This was a surprise, Michelle,” he says. “Thank you.”

“Well, you went to a lot of trouble for me last night,” I respond. “I wanted to do something special for you.”

“Last night was my pleasure,” he says.

“Actually, I think it was mine,” I reply as we both start laughing.

“I figured you’d be hitting the books all day,” Danny says, after the laughing subsides.

“Unfortunately, I’m going to have to get to that,” I say. “I just thought breakfast with you would be nice, before I punish myself with Pharmacology.”

“Are your books in your car?” he asks.

“Yeah, I didn’t take them out after classes yesterday,” I answer, a questioning look on my face.

“Then stay here and study,” he says.

“What?”

“I’ve got some things I need to do for work today, so you can study, while I work.”

“I don’t know,” I say.

“Come on, Michelle,” he says. “It’ll be nice just to know you’re here.”

There’s no way I can possibly say no to him, so I don’t even try. We remove our breakfast mess from the coffee table, and he retrieves my book bag from my car. He leaves me in the living room to study, while he goes to the library to work. As mausoleum-like as this house is, I’m beginning to grow a little fond of it, because when I’m here, it’s like being in another world. A world that is only mine and Danny’s.

It’s almost noon when I hear Danny coming down the hall.

“How did you know I needed a break?” I ask him when he comes around the corner.

“Because I did,” he answers.

He sits down on the sofa next to me and picks up one of my textbooks.

“Any naked pictures in here,” he jokes.

“None that you’d like,” I say with a smile.

“You’re probably right,” he says. “Especially if you’re not in here.”

“You are so bad!” I say, hitting him with one of the throw pillows on the sofa.

He grabs a pillow of his own and hits me back, so I swing at him again. We’re playfully bouncing pillows off one another when it occurs to me that these are the kind of normal moments that I want to have with this man. God, this feels so good. So good in fact that I drop my pillow to the floor, grab his face, and kiss him. He’s startled at first, but doesn’t object. We’re laughing at ourselves as we kiss – a kiss that’s borne not out of fiery passion, but out of a special moment shared between us, a moment that would otherwise seem insignificant. We revel in the moment, holding on to it as long as we can, but our bliss is interrupted by the telephone.

“Damn,” he mutters, not moving his lips from mine.

“You better answer,” I say, my lips still touching his. “It might be your office.”

“Don’t move,” he says, just before our lips break contact.

He reaches for the cordless phone on the lamp table beside the couch. I think to myself that there must be a phone in every corner of this house.

“Hello,” he says, as he pulls me into his arms.

I can only hear his end of the conversations, but I can tell right off the bat that it’s a serious one.

“Mother… What time is it over there?… I’m fine… Actually I have company right now… No, no one you’d know… What do you need?…”

He is silent for a long moment, and I can feel his body shifting, as if he’s nervous or concerned.

“You don’t have to do that… Really, it’s not necessary…Are you sure?… You’ve already taken care of it?… I don’t know what to say… I will… Alright… Tell Pilar that I love her… Goodbye…”

I sit up to look at him, worried about what his mother had to say.

“I can’t believe this,” he says, almost to himself.

“What is it, Danny?”

“That was my mother,” he says. “She’s deeding this house to me. Just giving it to me. She’s so totally engrossed in her life in Europe, that she doesn’t want it anymore. She told me to do whatever I wanted with it.”

“Do you want the house?” I ask, recalling our conversation the night of my migraine.

“Not forever,” he replies. “But for now, I guess I do. I mean, I grew up here. And when I do get my own place, I’m sure I can sell this one. She’s already had her lawyers draw up the papers.”

“That’s amazing,” I say, as I plant a light kiss on his cheek.

“It’s not just the house, Michelle. It’s what this means.”

“What does it mean?” I ask.

“Ever since she left town, I’ve been on pins and needles, wondering what she was going to do next. I half expected to see her walk through the front door at any moment and start all over again. I knew if she did, she’d start pressuring me to work for her again, and I really didn’t want to fight that battle with her again. But this proves that she’s really gone. She’s really quitting the business. It’s over, Michelle. It’s finally over. It’s just such a tremendous relief.”

I can tell by the look in his eyes that the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders. “I can tell, Danny,” I say, as I put my hands on his face and draw him into a gentle kiss.

He’s smiling when he looks up at me, and he kisses the tip of my nose and then my forehead. “I’m glad you were here with me, Michelle,” he says.

Our lips meet again, and this time it’s me who breaks the kiss. “I think it’s time for me to go,” I say.

“Why?” he asks as he puts his arms around me, preventing me from moving.

“Because Danny, I feel great. I feel great about you… about us, and I want to keep on feeling great, so I’m just going to leave now, while everything’s so… great.”

“What will you do?” he asks.

“Well, I’m going to go home and take a shower, because I haven’t had one yet today and I’m feeling pretty gross.”

“You can take a shower here,” he says. “I’ve got five, and I could help you,” he jokes, tugging at the bottom of my sweatshirt.

“And then,” I continue, as I laugh at his joviality, “I’m going to go the hospital and see my brother for a bit. And then, I’m afraid I’ll be studying Pharmacology for the rest of the weekend. It’s my first final, and it’s on Friday of this week, so I need to get in all the hours I can, before I have to go back to classes on Monday.”

“O.K.,” he says. “Which one of those is Pharmacology?” he asks, pointing to the stack of notebooks on the coffee table.

“The blue one,” I answer.

He picks it up, turns to the inside front cover, and writes down two phone numbers. “All right, this one is my home number,” he says, pointing to the first one. “And this is my cell phone. You call me when you need a break. Understood?”

“Understood,” I say with a smile.

I gather my books and notebooks and shove them back into my book bag. We walk outside together, hand in hand. I toss my bag into the backseat, and turn to Danny.

“I’m really happy for you… about the house, and about your mother,” I say.

“I’m really happy about you,” he replies, as he puts his arms around me.

For a long moment he just holds me. I can hear his heartbeat next to my face, and I know that I’m falling in love with this man. I can feel the rise and fall of his chest, and I know that I’ll never, ever be the same. I let the warmth of his arms encircle me, and I say a silent prayer that somehow, some way he feels the same way about me.

“Now, get outta here and get to studying,” he says, opening my car door for me.

“I’ll call you,” I say.

“I’m counting on it,” he answers.

As I turn out of his driveway and onto the main road, I know that my heart stayed behind.

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