Melania was sitting in Tanner’s condo. “Why did you ask me to come here instead of meeting me in the lobby?” she asked him.
“Are you afraid to be alone here with me?”
“No. I was just wondering, that’s all.”
“I didn’t want to meet you in the lobby.”
“You have a very nice place.”
“So, what time did you and Skylar leave the party last night?”
“We left when it was over which was about midnight. Why did you leave?”
“I didn’t want to stay too late.”
“Why not? It was on a Friday evening, so you could have slept in today, if you wanted to.”
“I just didn’t want to stay any longer, that’s all.”
“Was it because of Skylar?”
“Yes. I could tell that you didn’t like her.”
“She didn’t like me either. If you had seen the way she was looking at me and the way she was holding on to you as if she was afraid that I would steal you away from her.”
“Maybe she sensed it.”
“That I’m attracted to you.”
Her eyes widened. “Are you?”
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Tanner was telling her that he was attracted to her–her, a high-school junior. It seemed so fantastic.
“I know,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that I would be attracted to a girl half my age but I am. I was instantly attracted to you the first time I saw you.”
“But what about Skylar?”
“Skylar and I are friends, nothing more.”
“But, I thought–“
“I know what you thought. You saw us together at the party last night and assumed that we were a couple. Well, for your information, we arrived at the same time–in separate cars and we walked into the hall together.”
“But, anyone looking at the two of you would think the same thing I did. She was holding on to you and resting her head on your shoulder. You didn’t seem to mind.”
“I saw no harm in it but after you left, when she and I were walking to the parking lot, she asked me to have dinner with her tonight but I turned her down. She asked if there was any chance of us becoming more than friends and I told her no. She seemed to accept that and after hugging, we parted ways. I drove home, thinking about you and I made up my mind that I was going to do what I’ve wanted to do ever since you and I met and that was to pursue a relationship with you.”
Melania’s head was spinning. Shock and excitement filled her. She hoped that this wasn’t a dream. She had had a lot of dreams about him. Most of them were racy. Just last night, she dreamed that they were in a sauna making out and…
“Have you ever been in a jacuzzi?”
“Well, how about joining me in one?”
She stared at him. “In a jacuzzi?”
“Yes. That’s why I told you to bring a swimsuit.”
“I thought we were going to the beach or to the swimming pool here.”
“We can go to the beach another time. This building doesn’t have a pool. There’s an indoor pool not far from here but it’s always crowded. Besides, I wanted to be alone with you.”
“So, where’s the jacuzzi?”
“You have your own jacuzzi?” she exclaimed.
He smiled. “Yes. Would you like to see it?”
She slid off the stool and followed him. The condo was a split level. They went up to the second level where the master with its ensuite, guest bedrooms and bathroom were to the terrace. He opened the sliding door so that they could step onto the roof-top terrace where the jacuzzi was. They walked over to it. Melania’s eyes widened. “Wow. It must be nice to have your own private hot tub,” she said.
“Yes, it is. Are you ready to go in?”
“You can change in the guest room. I’ll show you where it is.” He went back inside and she followed him to a smaller room. “I’ll meet you on the patio.” He left her.
She quickly removed her top and jeans and pulled on her swimsuit. It was a whole piece. She had chosen to wear it instead of her bikini. She preferred how she looked in this swimsuit. After laying her clothes neatly on the bed, she retraced her steps back to the patio. She climbed into the warm water. It felt good against her skin and she relaxed.
Tanner joined her. Her eyes traveled over him. He had a gorgeous body. “So, what do you think?” he asked.
“It feels great.”
“It’s relaxing too. I sometimes relax in it after a busy day at the office or after I’ve gone to the gym. Would you like something to drink?”
“Is it hard to maintain the jacuzzi?”
“No. It’s simple if it’s done properly. I have a guide which tells me what to do.”
“What type of water is in this hot tub?”
“Oh. Is that better than chlorine?”
“With the salt water system, I have to replace the cartridge three times per year instead of adding chlorine daily or weekly. And I only need to drain and refill the hot tub once a year instead of once every 3-4 months with traditional chlorine. The salt water has a more natural-feeling water which doesn’t cause itchy, dry skin or eyes and fewer chemicals added and there aren’t any harsh odors.”
“I like this better than chlorine. Chlorine irritates my eyes and skin and makes my hair dry.”
“Yes, this is much better than being in a swimming pool, isn’t it?” He climbed into the tub.
It was more romantic too. There was a nice view. The sun was shining and it was quiet. She wished they could stay there like that for a long, long time. It felt like they were the only two people in the world. She felt him watching her and she turned her head towards him.
He reached out and rubbed his knuckles against her arm, making her heart beat faster and her stomach flipflopped. Their eyes met for several minutes, then hers dropped to his lips. Their heads moved closer together until his mouth was on hers. It was tentative at first, almost like a caress and then it deepened when he felt her response. His mouth moved hungrily on hers and moaning, she put her arms around his neck. He wrapped his arms about her waist, holding her tightly against him as they exchanged passionate kisses.
Even though she had wanted him to very badly, he didn’t make love to her then. Instead, they made out in the tub. Afterwards, they dried off and changed back into their clothes. He took her to Simple NYC for dinner before taking her home.
Back in the present, Melania got up from the sofa and went over to the window to look out. What was the matter with her? Why was she reliving the past? Why was she thinking about Tanner and what happened between them nine years ago in New York? She was here in Canada now and Matt was supposed to be the man in her life. Matt. The last thing she wanted to do was to hurt him.