Always One More 11

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There was something in his friend's voice that wore on his nerves.  He didn't like it that his friend would speak to him this way.  It sounded as if he only wanted to cause trouble and Chris didn't need anyone to do that for him.  He was causing his own trouble just fine.  The look that was now on Justin's face made his stomach hurt.  Justin was looking at him with pity as if he knew something and was regretting telling him something.  If they hadn't been fighting a few days before he wouldn't have taken it as an attack on him, but because things were tense, he was taking it that way.  "What the hell is your problem Justin?"

"I'm worried about you," Justin leaned against the counter and lowered his eyes, "I can feel it even if you can't.  You and Dani are pulling apart again."

Chris leaned against the counter on the far side from Justin and tried to stay calm about this.  If he didn't handle this the correct he'd be returning Justin's punch to the face.  "We've had a few interesting conversations, but nothing too serious."

Justin moved a bit in his seat making the chair squeak.  "You sure?"

He wanted to turn around and go back to cooking, but the edge in Justin's voice wouldn't let him.  Chris couldn't stand that Justin was doing this.  Physical fighting seemed more his style, but this whole verbal assault against him really wasn't his style.  Why was he trying to turn everything around?  "What's with you Justin?"

"Well," he said, "Your woman is out at a hockey game instead of spending time with you."  He drummed his hands on the counter then stopped.  "Who'd she go with?"

"I don't know," Chris shrugged.  "Why?"

"Your girlfriend, practically your fiancÚ is out at a hockey game with you don't know who?"  Justin drummed his hands again.

Chris shrugged.

Justin cocked his head to the side and looked at him.  "It just looks a little strange to me."

Chris sighed moved to slam his palms against the counter, which brought Justin's attention to Chris.  "Either spit out whatever you know or leave it alone."

Eyes wide with shock over Chris's action.  "I saw her."

Silence filled the room.

Tension eased it's way up his back around his shoulders and up his neck.  Normally when he'd get a headache it would start off as a dull pain and come into sharper pains, but this headache hit him as if someone had taken a two by four to his temple.  His hand went to his head and he rubbed his head then moved his hand to scratch his forehead.  When this action didn't seem to distract him from the pain, Chris scratched his cheek.  Saw her what?  Saw her where?

He really didn't have to say anything more for Chris to realize that this was bad news.  He was sure that she wouldn't do anything too crazy in public.  She knew the unspoken rules about embarrassment and scandal and how he couldn't deal with situations like that because of his status in the music industry and entertainment industry.

"With someone at the hospital after the whole fight thing.  I went out to her car to tell her that I was sorry about all that stuff and she was talking to some guy.  Some doctor."

Chris took a deep breath.  Jealousy hadn't been one of the things that he'd experienced when he was with Dani, but somehow now it consumed him.  "So."

"So--"  Justin showed his nervousness by cracking his knuckles.  He looked at him from under heavy eyelids and sighed, "It seemed a little more personal than it needed to be."

Dani cheating on him wasn't something that he was worried about.  He knew that he bugged the crap out of her at times, but he hadn't even considered her cheating on him.  It just didn't even cross his mind that she would go looking for someone else.  She might not have wanted to be with him at times, but he didn't think there was even anyone around that she would leave him for.

"Did she see you?"

"Nope," he said, "As soon as I saw her I ducked out of the way.  Everyone was fighting that day and I wasn't about to get into it with her.  She didn't do anything too serious, but having this guy talk to her and you not be there is pretty strange.  I think I saw him give her his number.  I would have come over sooner to tell you about it, but we were fighting so I didn't want to put that into the mix with everything else."

Chris nodded.

"Shit!"  Justin jumped up and got the pasta that was now boiling over.  He threw it into the sink and watched little flames play on the stove for a moment before he finally looked at Chris.  "Let's order a pizza."

Chris stared at the floor.  It was just another ruined day in his life.  He and Dani had promised each other that there would always be one more day with them, but at the moment it seemed as if the only one more day would be one more of misery for the two of them.  "Chris?"

He moved into the living room and flopped down onto the couch in the living room.   "You can," he replied, "I'm not that hungry anymore."

Drinking a few beers didn't give her the right to lose all her inhibitions, but was they walked out of the game and he when he leaned towards her to clearly place a kiss on her lips she didn't stop him.  His lips were warm.  They touched her lips once lightly before pressing again for more.  His hand pushed her baseball hat back and she reached and pulled it off as he turned his head slightly.  His breath touched her cheek as he moved to kiss her face she felt a shiver run through her that she hadn't felt in forever.

It all was great.  His lips, his hands, the way he held his breath slightly as he maneuvered her lips under his.  He smelled of beer and hospital and hockey and she couldn't believe that all of that would turn out to be such an intoxicating smell.  Chris always seemed to smell like dog or nacho cheese.  It all seemed to be fun.  Kissing him was harmless, she told herself over and over again.  It wasn't until his arms were around her and he was deepening that kiss even more that she realized what she was doing and stepped back.

"I'm--"  She found herself not sure what to say.  She pulled in three deep breaths of air and still couldn't catch her breath.  It had been a while since another man had kissed her that deeply.  She was used to Chris and while Chris was fairly passionate about their relationship, even he seemed to pale in comparison to Liam's lips.

Liam's lips.

She smiled at the thought of the little rhyme, but soon found a frown forming on her lips.  She wanted Chris.  She didn't want Liam.  It was confusing now to try to figure it all out.  She SHOULD want Chris.  She did want Chris.  Or did she?

Pushing him away had been something she needed to do.  That was until she saw the soft look in his eyes.

"I am truly sorry," he said wiping his mouth with his fingers.  His eyes avoided her, looking at the wall behind her instead of making eye contact with her.

Why would he make eye contact?  She clearly had just snubbed his attempt at being romantic.  No man would put up with that.  He didn't deserve that.  He was too nice of a guy to get treated that way.

His hand reached out and touched her cheek, thumb running over her skin as he finally made eye contact with her.  He took a deep breath and finally seemed to relax after her pushing him away. "I was moving too fast."

"No," she said trying to stop the guilt trip he seemed to be about to give himself.  "It's not you or the kiss.  It's me."

"I shouldn't have moved so fast though," he said and kissed her cheek.  "It wasn't right of me."

She leaned her head against his then scooted towards him.  "I'm sorry for making you feel bad about this.  I just have some things on my mind and starting something with you would only complicate things more.  I don't mean to say that I'm totally scared away.  I just have some things to deal with before I can start something with you."

"Good enough," he said and moved to formally hold her hand.  "How about a walk to your car?"

She nibbled on her lip.  "Good idea."

They walked out of the arena and to her car and when they got there he helped her inside before she rolled down her window and he leaned a bit to talk to her.  She put her hat down on the passenger's seat and turned back to talk to him.

"We should do this again?"

"Yes," she said instantly. 

Despite the strange outfit he had on,  jeans and a green medical shirt and a worn leather jacket, he was definitely an intriguing man.  She imagined that he didn't play X-box for hours on end and probably his idea of a good meal--other than the hotdogs and beer that they'd shared at the game--was probably more romantic than Chris's Macaroni and Cheese.

Running a hand over his face he yawned and sighed.  "My schedule isn't set for the week yet.  I should know by tomorrow evening when I have shifts at hospital.  I'll call you and we'll have ourselves another date if you're available."

She wanted to scream at him that she would be available.  She actually at the same time wanted to scream at him that she wouldn't be available and that she'd lied to him about being single and being available.  That thought depressed her.  She wanted to be with Liam.  He was a nice man and had definitely spent more time listening to her that night than Chris had in months.  "Date?" she said hesitantly.

"Yes," he said with a smile and leaned and kissed her nose.  "A date."  He put up one finger on each hand and started to do little motions with them as he explained.  "A woman and a man normally go on these.  Dinner and a movie or a play or dancing usually are involved."

A blush covered her face.  "Sounds heavenly."

"Heavenly?"  He smiled coyly at her and reached to touch her cheek.  "Then I'll call you?"

"Yes," she said and leaned into his palm.

He yawned.  "I'm going to head home.  I'll talk to you soon?"

"Yes," she said.

"I like you Dani," he said with a wink.  "A yes girl.  That's always great personality trait to have in a woman who is around you."

Words weren't coming to her.  She didn't know what to say to that.  She knew that she had attributes that people liked, but the way he made it sound, it was as if she was a little too easy about things.  In response to him, she nodded and he finally moved away from the car so she could leave.

As she drove away she found herself looking back.  It surprised her to see him standing there watching her leave before he finally turned and walked towards his car.

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Last updated: 07/10/04.