“And Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” we both stated at the same time and laughed again.
“You can rest your head on my chest if you want,” Brett offered. I wasn’t the type to cuddle (Flaw 42). The few clingy guys I had dated, mostly in high school, made me feel trapped by their constant need for me to be close. I guess Brett sensed my hesitation because he quickly said, “It’s okay if you don’t want to. I understand.”
I compromised. I placed my hand on his chest. I could see a small smile form in the corners of his mouth. Then he placed his hand over mine.
I don’t believe in coincidences and I rarely have good luck but I noticed that our food arrived exactly as the movie ended.
“Great timing.” Brett flipped off the television and hurried over to the door. The ease with which he did everything and the comfort he seemed to feel in his own skin actually made me a bit jealous. I never felt completely comfortable with anyone and I felt the least comfortable with myself.
When the waiter left, Brett carried our food tray over to the bed. “Breakfast in bed, for my lady,” he said with a cheesy fake British accent. He was a little corny but it was cute. And no one had ever gone to the trouble of providing me breakfast in bed.
Brett sat down across from me on the bed with the meal tray between us. “Dig in. I’m starving!.”
“Aren’t you the least bit hung over?” When I looked up at Brett all the color had drained from his face.
“I don’t drink,” he said seriously. “Ever.”
I gulped. The way he said it was almost pained. But why? Had he told me and I had forgotten? I racked my brain to try and remember but nothing came to me.
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled.
“It’s okay,” he said but I knew he was lying. It wasn’t okay. Nothing about the night we had spent together was okay.
Then something strange happened. I could feel my cheeks getting wet. Moisture was dripping down my face and it was coming from my eyes.
“Don’t cry,” Brett whispered and I wondered if I had heard him correctly.
“I don’t cry,” I snuffled. “I never cry. It’s flaw number five.”
“Apparently you do.” He came around to my side of the bed and took me in his arms. As he held me tightly I could feel myself sobbing. WTF? I felt like I was observing myself from outside my own body. I was probably eight years old the last time I remembered shedding a tear now I was quickly deteriorating into a sobbing heap.
“It’s okay,” Brett whispered. “I’m right here.”
Brett continued to hold me tight in his arms as I let it all out. Years of bottled up emotions seemed to pour out of me. I could feel snot running down my nose and before I could ask, Brett said, “I’d better get you some tissues.”
When he ran into the bathroom, I did my best to compose myself and when he returned he handed me a pile of tissues. I blew my nose into the entire pile and Brett chuckled.
“I must look really great. Not only am I hung over, now I’m a blubbering mess.”
“You’re beautiful,” Brett said seriously. The intensity of his gaze made me shudder.
“It doesn’t mean anything.”
Brett looked confused.
“Being beautiful is meaningless. It’s not something I earned. I didn’t work for it. I just got lucky in the genetic lottery.”
Brett shook his head. “It’s not just about how you look, Anna. Being beautiful is about who you are.”
“If that’s the case, then I’m not much more than a sarcastic bitch.”
“I wish you could see what I see.”
I let out one laugh. “Maybe you need to have your eyes checked.”
“Maybe we’d better eat some of this food before it gets cold.” Brett grabbed a piece of toast and bit into it. “It’s already buttered.” He put the piece up to my lips. “Take a bite.”
I reluctantly did as I was told. He was right. The toast was good. I was surprised that I actually had an appetite. And even more surprised that Brett had so easily talked me into taking a bite of his food without me giving a sarcastic remark like, “What am I five years old?”
“Would you like me to feed you your eggs, too?” Brett had a huge grin on his face. I guessed he had a little sarcasm in him, too.
“No, I think I can handle it.” I picked up my fork and jabbed at the scrambled eggs in front of me and put them in my mouth. “Mmm, these are good, too.”
Brett poked at his eggs and took a bite. He nodded in agreement.
After he swallowed, he asked, “So, why me?”
“What do you mean?”
“You could have had your pick of eligible bachelors at the wedding last night, why did you hit on me?”
I shrugged. How could I tell him I didn’t remember? I poked at my eggs. They suddenly didn’t seem as appetizing.
“Anna,” Brett said. I glanced up him. He continued. “I just want you to know that I normally don’t do this.”
“Do what?” I asked obviously clueless.
“This,” he emphasized as if it made all the sense in the world.
I tried to think of all the possible things he could mean by this. Eat in bed? Eat eggs and toast in bed? Get room service?
He sighed, clearly exasperated. “A one-night stand.” He actually whispered it as if there was someone else in the room who could hear him.
“Never?” I managed to choke out. I hoped he didn’t think I was being rude; I was just surprised. We had gone to college together. Most of the people we were friends with hooked up at least a few times. And there were people like me who hooked up way more than a few times (Flaw 17: Anna’s a slut.)
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Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R