1Author's Note: Congrats to myself and all my readers! You have reached the last chapter of Unconscious Flirtations. This is the second Christmas chapter and hopefully just as good as the first one! Enjoy!
Andy followed her daughters out of the terminal, handbag slung over one shoulder. Her tight jeans were crinkled slightly from the long plane ride and she wore a light blue sweater. Jessie and Lizzy broke into a run as she looked around at the California airport.
"Daddy!" Lizzy screamed and jumped into his arms after somewhat of a jog across the room. His smile was wider than she'd ever seen it. Jessie was next in the line of hugs and then as Andy approached them, Les held out his arms for her. She grabbed his hand and stood on her toes, wrapping her arms around him. Les felt the warmth of her sweater and it made him smile even more.
"Come on, we have to get our luggage," Jessie said and grabbed her father's arm, pulling him away from Andy. She followed, Lizzy by her side.
Once they got their luggage and Les helped Lizzy carry hers, her arms being too small to handle the amount of clothing she had, they headed outside.
"What did you put in this L-z, bricks?" Les asked humorously.
"She's turning into her big sister," Andy noted and nodded towards Jessie's extra-large suitcase rolling behind her as she pulled it when she walked. "Guess I need to get Lizzy one that rolls to..."
"Guess so," Les said and smirked, shaking his head and then pulling his keys out of his pocket.
"Whoa, what is this?" Andy asked surprised.
"What happened to the convertible?"
"I traded it in."
She looked at him shocked as he loaded their bags into the back of the silver Montero Sport. "Why?"
"Well, I needed space for computer stuff that I had to lug back and forth to different places for my job, plus...it was a nice change," He responded, finishing the loading and then unlocking the doors for everybody to climb in.
Andy jumped into the passenger seat as Jessie and Lizzy jumped into the back, buckling up. Les started the car and Andy turned to look at her two daughters.
"Did you guys know about the car?"
"Yeah, Dad's had for a while. What's the big deal?" Jessie answered.
"Oh, it's not a big deal...I was just wondering," Andy said and turned back around to stare out the front windshield.
Les pulled into his driveway after a forty-five minute car ride there. They got out their luggage and headed for the front door.
"So you drive that far every time you go to the airport?" Andy asked, obviously being the only one out of the loop.
"Actually, I drive that far everyday. My work is near there," He responded, glancing at her while unlocking the front door. "Well..welcome to my home," He added and pushed open the door.
Jessie and Lizzy immediately ran up the stairs with their luggage. Andy looked around, pausing in the foyer.
Les shrugged. The house wasn't as big as Andy's in Philadelphia but it was comfortable enough to live in. It obviously had room for four or more, which confused her slightly. She always figured Les would just live in an apartment.
"It's mostly for the girls. I mean, I don't need a big house but when they visit, it gets pretty full," He mentioned as if reading her mind.
"I'll admit, I was wondering..." She said, while walking throughout the house, admiring things. They fell silent until Jessie and Lizzy came running downstairs.
"What do we do first?"
"How about some dinner? I know that plane ride had to have made you guys hungry," Les suggested.
"Sounds like a plan!" Lizzy said.
"Did you girls unpack?" Les asked.
"No, we just put our suitcases in our rooms."
"Well, tell ya what, you go unpack and I'll make ya some dinner," Les said and headed towards the kitchen.
Jessie and Lizzy took off again upstairs and Andy followed her ex-husband.
"They're so happy to be here."
"I'm happy they're here to," He said, pulling a pan out of the cabinet below the stove. "Are you going to unpack to?"
"I didn't know I had a room to unpack in..."
"I have a guest bedroom complete with queen size bed, a nice oak desk that was my mothers, two bedside tables, dresser drawers, and beautiful curtains that were, once again, my mothers."
Andy's eyes stared at him wide. "Wow," She said in shock.
"What? You didn't think I'd make you sleep on the couch, did you?"
"Well, I just assumed..." She shrugged and then moved around the counter, closer to him. "Thank you," She added. After a few seconds of silence she spoke up again. "You know, I would put you in my guest bedroom if-"
"Kayla didn't live there, I know," He finished her sentence and moved toward the fridge.
Andy leaned against the counter, her foot propped up and hands held in front of her. "Do you need any help?"
"Actually, you can do something for me, in a minute," He responded. Les placed a piece of butter in the heated frying pan and moved it around to help it melt somewhat. Andy watched him take eight pieces of bread from the plastic bag it was originally in and place cheese on them. He then moved them together in sandwiches and placed two in the frying pan.
"Grilled cheese?" Andy questioned, one eye brow raised.
"Oh, not JUST grilled cheese my dear, but..." He said proudly and moved towards the cupboard that held food. He pulled out a few cans. "Tomato soup."
Andy laughed and moved towards him, taking the cans. "Sounds great." She said and put them on the counter to start opening them.
"Here," He handed her a pot, spoon, and spatula. She looked at him questioningly. "Will you watch the sandwiches and start the soup while I go change out of these work clothes?"
She looked up and down his body, noting the slacks and business shirt, the top button undone, then took the stuff from his hands. "Sure."
He disappeared around the corner and up the stairs. Andy could hear him checking on Jessie and Lizzy, then a door shut. She hadn't seen the upstairs but she was guessing that he went into his bedroom. As she poured the can of soup into the pot and turned on the stove beneath it, she noticed the window above the sink. It was more of a glass frame sticking out surrounding matching shelves. On top of the shelves were various pictures. After she flipped the two sandwiches in the frying pan, she moved towards the pictures to take a closer look. The farthest on her left was Jessie and Lizzy. She recognized the picture as one she took on a vacation. They were little girls then and it made her smile. The next over was Les's parents, one of the only pictures of the two. Andy had the exact one in her own home. Then came Jessie and Lizzy again, older in this one. The next picture caught her attention more. It was of her. She was standing by the stairs in their old house in Washington D.C. She had been waiting for Jessie to come downstairs before a school dance. Les had insisted on taking her picture. He had claimed that she looked radiant that night. Andy smiled, much like in the picture and then looked to the next one. It was of her and Les. They were standing near a bench in the park, arms wrapped around each other. Andy remembered the picture perfectly. They had been taking one of their walks in the afternoon and Les had asked a stranger to take their picture. Andy had been embarrassed but then laughed. Now, standing in the kitchen, spatula still in one hand, she remembered how in love she had been. It had been one of those days where she didn't want to leave his side. They had gone to dinner the night before and then made love for hours after. They had fallen asleep in each others arms and stayed with each other all the next day. Then they had gone on the walk like they used to.
"Andy?" She heard a voice call from behind her.
Andy turned around to see him changed into comfortable pants and a nice sweatshirt. He noticed her expression.
She didn't respond right away, just stared at him.
"Yeah," She finally said and walked back towards the stove, swallowing pass the lump in her throat. She continued to stir the soup after handing him the spatula. Les brushed against her skin as they stood side by side in front of the stove. It triggered her hormones and she smiled at him when he glanced at her, trying to hide her feelings. The truth was, she was attracted, confused, sad, and happy to be standing next to him all at the same time. Now all she had to do was pick one and stick to it.
Andy couldn't believe how comfortable the guest bed was. Les had put her favorite kind of sheets on it and when she unpacked, she noticed a chocolate on the pillow, as if she were staying at a resort. It was a Milk Chocolate Hershey Kiss, one of her favorite kinds of chocolate. She half expected to find Chocolate Creme Oreo's, her vice, somewhere in the room but she was wrongly disappointed.
She had woken up at her usual six am but then rolled over to go back to sleep. After thinking about how much she was enjoying her vacation, her eyes fluttered shut and her dreams took rote.
Les approached Andy's door at around seven am. He wanted to see if she was still sleeping or if she wanted to wake up and talk a bit before the girls woke up. He knocked on the door lightly but got no response. Les placed his hand on the doorknob and slowly turned it, inching the door open. He walked in quietly and looked around to the bed. Andy was laying on her side with her head resting on one of the pillows. He figured she was still asleep so he went to turn around when he heard a soft noise.
With his eye brows raised, he turned back around and inched closer, looking at his ex-wife.
"Andy? Are you awake?"
"Mmm..." She moaned again.
"Andy.." He whispered.
She let out a deep breath and rolled her shoulders. Les examined her closely, realizing that she was still asleep and probably dreaming. He turned to leave again when the sound of her voice stopped him.
"Mmm...oh Les..." She moaned, her eyes shut, her forehead scrunching, one of her hands gripping the pillow case. Her body went through gentle sways of the motions as her dreams were exposed to him. She was dreaming about him, and he couldn't believe it.
"You've got to be kidding..." He whispered, mostly to himself.
"Oh..." She said again and sighed, her hand releasing the pillow case, her forehead unscrunching.
"Interesting..." He said and left the room just as quietly as he had entered.
Andy opened her eyes nearly two hours later. She slept well, really well. It was the first time in a long time that she went to bed early as well as sleeping in late. She woke up to the smell of bacon and maple syrup. The sun was shining in her windows, brighter than she'd seen it. It was a whole different environment than what she was used to. She didn't have to go to work, she didn't have to do anything. She could take her time getting dressed. She could take a nice long shower if she wanted. She was on vacation.
After beautifying herself, Andy headed downstairs. Les was sitting at his kitchen table while bacon sizzled in a frying pan and maple syrup heated in a pot on the stove. When she saw him, she suddenly remembered what she had been dreaming about. Her eyes widened but then she lessened her stare, not wanting to make things obvious.
"Good morning," She said, walking into the room slowly.
"Oh, good morning," He smiled and put down the newspaper he was reading. "Did you sleep ok?"
"Excellent. I'm surprised I slept in this late."
"It's only nine, but then again you were always the early riser."
She shrugged and stood awkwardly in one place not knowing what to do or say next.
He noticed and made a move. "Coffee?" He offered and got up to pour her a glass.
He pulled a mug from the cabinet and picked up the coffee pot. "Strong. Cream, no sugar...right?"
She nodded, appreciating that he still remembered.
"Gives you that extra boast huh," He handed her the mug and then went to the stove to stir the syrup and flip the bacon. "So...did you have any good dreams?" He asked nonchalantly, but smirking on the inside.
Andy froze and blushed slightly. "I guess you could say that..." She looked around for something to change the subject. "Cooking again?"
"That's not tomato soup in there is it?"
He laughed. "No. It's syrup."
He glanced at her, noting the fact that she said 'mom' as if his mother was felt like hers. "Yeah. The girls always loved her maple syrup."
"They did, I remember," She noted. They fell silent as he sat back down at the table and she sat in a chair next to him. The only sound heard was the bacon cooking, sips of coffee, and the crinkle of newspaper. After a few minutes, Les smiled and handed her the Metro section. She smiled to and took it from him.
"You'd be surprised at the California weather..." He noted with another smile. Andy giggled and sipped her coffee, slowly opening the newspaper to read.
Christmas eve arrived before they knew it. They had arrived in California only a few days before but still, it only seemed like they had been there a few hours. Everything was different. While it was still cold outside, it didn't snow. It didn't even rain while they were there either. It was perfect.
Les and Andy spent hours in the kitchen preparing a nice dinner for everyone. It used to be a tradition in their family so they thought doing it again would be a nice touch for the holidays. Presents sat beneath a giant Christmas tree that they had bought the second day they were there. Les had insisted on waiting to get one until they could decorate it with him. It was covered in goofy ornaments he had bought years before. Different colors and sizes of lights hung throughout the branches and an angel sat on top. Lizzy had placed it there, also another holiday tradition. Les had made a fire in his brick fireplace. It was on the opposite side of the tree with a couch and two chairs pointing towards it.
They ate in the dinning room and everybody cleaned the kitchen together after. They put all leftovers in the fridge for the next day and washed dishes, playing with the bubbles from the soap during the process. By the time they were done laughing and talking, it was late. Andy walked with the girls upstairs, and Les followed after a few seconds. Andy led Lizzy into her room as Les led Jessie into hers. They tucked their daughter's in, kissing their foreheads, then switching rooms to kiss the other one, said goodnight, shut their doors, and headed back downstairs.
"Wine?" She asked, smiling and headed towards the fireplace.
He raised an eye brow, something, he noticed, he only did around her. "I think I might have some."
Andy moved towards the couch, grabbing a blanket from the back of it. She spread it across the floor in front of the couch. Then she placed some thick pillows against it for leaning purposes. Les came back with a bottle and two glasses in his hands. She dimmed the lights and sat down on the blanket, making herself comfortable. He nervously poured the wine and handed one of the glasses to her before taking a seat.
"What kind is this?"
"The kind we drank together last Christmas," She noted.
He realized that for the first time. "I didn't plan that ya know,"
She laughed and took another sip. The firelight bounced in her eyes, radiating her face, making her seem even more beautiful to him.
"You're so pretty Andy," He mumbled, loud enough for her to hear.
She glanced at him and then blushed. "Thank you," She responded, taking another sip of wine. He copied her move.
For awhile they sat in silence. Les got up once to stoke the fire. When he sat back down, it was unconsciously closer to her than before. She noticed. The heat of the fire was making her sweat slightly so she decided she could either go change or she could just go. Les noticed her starting to move. He didn't want her to leave. After all, she had suggested the wine and she had made their little romantic setting.
"It's kind of hot," She said, taking her wine glass to the kitchen. She drank the rest of it's contents and then placed it in the sink. Les got up from the floor and shut the fire place doors, as if he were going to leave it for the night. He then picked the blanket up and pillows, turned off the Christmas tree lights and then moved into the kitchen to put the wine up. He didn't expect Andy to still be standing at the sink. She was staring at the picture of them again. He had noticed her staring a few days before and now once again.
"That's a good picture," She said, hearing him behind her.
"It's my favorite," He said, his body inches from hers. He reached his arm around her to place his glass in the sink and she turned around as he did so. He looked at her, unsure as ever about what she was going to do next. Andy placed her hand over the middle of his chest, moving her fingers ever so slightly, and looked around at his body.
"I love that shirt on you," She noted, looking up at his face.
"Me to," He said slowly. Then he corrected himself. "I mean, I love the shirt on you to..."
She laughed, knowing her hand made him nervous.
"I mean, the shirt you're wearing is..nice.." He went on, trying to redeem his feelings. "I mean-"
"Just shut up and kiss me," She said quickly, placing her other hand on his face. Les looked into her eyes to see if he heard her correctly. Her expression told him that he had. With that, he leaned into her, their lips meeting. Andy closed her eyes as the warmth of his body touched the warmth of hers. He pushed against her, wrapping his arms around her waist as she placed hers above his shoulders. They continued to kiss, their bodies getting closer with each second. Andy moaned, the taste and feel of him overwhelming her. Her hormones raced as he moved his hands up her sides to her chest. Before touching her anymore, he stepped away, only holding his hand in hers. She looked back and forth from one of his eyes to the other, then to his lips. He kissed her once more before leading her through the living room and up the stairs. He pulled her into his bedroom, shutting the door quietly behind them.
Andy moved towards him, their lips meeting again. Les grabbed her waist as her hands drifted by her sides. He pulled her against him gently and slightly moved his tongue into her mouth. Andy responded to him, breathing heavily. Her body shook, feelings running wild. Their lips broke and he looked into her eyes.
"Make love to me Les," She whispered and shut her eyes again, loving the sound of what she said. He paused, thinking about how long he had wanted this to happen and now it finally was. He kissed her again, pulling her onto the bed, unbuttoning her shirt. His lips trailed to her neck as Andy looked up at the ceiling. She stared for a few seconds before tilting her head backwards in delight.
The next morning, Andy opened her eyes and started to stretch. She noticed the mass of a man by her side and her face formed a grin, her mind recalling the events of the previous night. She sat up, looking around and noticed their clothing all over the floor. A pair of pants there, a blouse here. Her bra hung over the lampshade on the bedside table, making her giggle. Les shifted his weight in the bed, turning more on his back and she looked over at him. From what she could see, he still had bed head. Her face was all smiles.
Andy laid back down next to him, pulling the covers more over her naked body. She rolled onto her side and placed her head on his chest. Les blinked his eyes open, noticing the sudden weight, then smiled.
"Good morning," She said.
"Mmm, yes it is..." He responded and ran his hand through her hair. "Too bad I didn't get to sleep in."
"What are you talking about! It's already eight o'clock," She noted, picking her head up.
"I've been up since six," He said and she gave him a look. "That's early for me, ok! Somebody's gotta be Santa."
"Right," Andy smirked at him and leaned up to kiss his lips. He returned the kiss, squeezing her upper body tighter to his. "We should probably get up."
"I just got in..."
Andy giggled again and moved her body on top of his. He groaned. "I thought you said we needed to get up."
"We do..." She paused. "I just wanted to really, really wake you up,"
"Oh, I'm awake..."
They fell silent and Andy started kissing him. After a few seconds, he pulled away, using his abs to raise both their bodies and sat her up on his lap. "I missed you," He said quietly.
She smiled after a little while and then kissed him again. "I'm going to go get dressed," She said and climbed off of him. Wrapping the sheet around her body, she left the room and headed to her own.
"Is that all the presents?" Lizzy asked in a somewhat depressing tone.
"Is that all! L-z, you're covered in them," Les said with laughter. Andy laughed along with him. They were all surrounded in gifts with one big pile in the middle of wrapping paper. "How about some breakfast?" He asked.
"As long as it's not grilled cheese and tomato soup.." Jessie noted while examining her new presents.
"I see you have your mother's sense of humor," He said and walked to the kitchen. Andy followed him.
"Need any help?"
"Sure," He nodded and handed her something to do. They worked quietly, the only sounds being of their daughters in the other room.
After breakfast, they cleaned. Jessie offered to pick up wrapping paper while Lizzy dried and put away the dishes that Andy washed. Les put away left over food. Once everybody was done, they waited for him to place the last of the food in the second fridge located in the laundry room.
Les came back out with both hands behind his back. "Looks like I found
another present..." He said, moving it from behind his back. He handed it to Jessie.
"What is it?"
"Open it and see," He said, glancing at Andy. She smiled, curious to what he was up to.
Jessie ripped off the wrapping paper to the small box. She looked at it before opening, thinking it was some kind of jewelry. Her mouth dropped. She pulled out he present and held it in the air.
"You didn't," She said towards her father.
"I did," He answered.
"Where is it?"
"In the driveway..." He said and Jessie bolted off, her present in her hand. Lizzy ran after her and Andy looked at her ex-husband shocked.
They followed their girls to the front yard, where they found Jessie admiring her new present.
"Dad! I can't believe you!" She said. "It's a car!"
"It's not just any car, it's my old car. I know, I know," He said, holding up his hands innocently. "It's used, but you always loved it and I couldn't part with it, so I thought I'd give it to you."
Jessie ran to her dad and toppled him over on the grass with a hug. Andy laughed and shook her head. Jessie got back to her feet and ran to her car.
"Can we go driving?"
"Who?" Andy asked.
"Me!" Jessie said and then looked over at her little sister. "And Lizzy," She added.
Lizzy smiled. "Please Mom,"
"Yeah, please Andy," Les said with a grin.
"Where are you going to go?"
"I don't know, around. Into town, maybe see some friends. We do have friends here, remember..."
"Yes," Andy said and hesitated. "Ok."
The girls jumped for joy and ran to the car to get going.
"Be careful!" Andy shouted.
Jessie looked at her, knowing why her mother was so nervous about it. "I promise...I will," She said and started the engine.
"How long are you going to be gone?"
"I don't know," Jessie said.
"Well, dinner is at five!" He yelled as she zipped out of the drive way.
Andy and Les stood in the yard next to each other, but not too close and waved. After a few minutes, they headed back inside.
"I can't believe you gave her a car!" Andy said, still in somewhat shock.
Les shut the front door behind them, shrugging in the process and then grabbed her around her waist. Pulling her body tight to his, he began kissing her. Andy felt him push up against her and her back hit a near by wall. She let her arms rest on his shoulders as he kissed her more. They moved into the living room and toppled over on the couch. Les laid on top of her, as Andy moaned, feeling him against her jeans. They moved quicker, their lips massaging the others. Andy shut her eyes slowly, Les moving his mouth down her neck while unbuttoning her shirt. He moved back up to her lips, taking charge, kissing her roughly. She moaned and then pushed him away.
"We can't do this..." She mumbled.
"What?" He asked, breathing heavily. "What's wrong?"
Andy didn't say anything, she just looked at him.
"Andy? What is it?"
"We just can't..."
"Is it me?" He asked quietly.
"No, no, no," She said quickly and rubbed her hands up his chest and over his shoulders. "You are...great. You're sexy and gentle...and..." Their faces got closer, each breathing heavier, each wanting more. Andy moved her head into his and kissed him again. Les brushed off the confusion and started doing what he had been doing. After a minute, she pushed up and got out from under him.
"I can't do this..." She said and stood up, buttoning her shirt back.
He didn't say anything this time, just sat up on the couch and looked around.
Andy stood with her back to him. "Les-"
"Andy..." He said, looking up at her. "What is it?"
"I'm confused!" She admitted.
"Us, God Les..." She said, staring at the fire. "Is this what this is? Is that it! Sex! Is that all we are!" She yelled, turning to face him.
"You know that it was never just sex for me Andy," He said defensively. "I've always loved you,"
"Always?" She asked doubtfully.
"Yes, since the day I married you, heck even before I married you."
She let out a sigh and turned to walk into the kitchen. Les sat for a moment and then followed her. "I don't understand what is going through your head Andy, so feel free to fill me in at any time..." He said quietly, leaning against the counter.
She looked at him and then at the floor. "It's..." She hesitated. "It's about happiness."
He looked at her, letting her know that she had his full attention.
"I'm confused about what it is that I want. Les, I've had my heart broken and then I had the chance to let somebody else in and then it was...broken again...I," She paused, trying to hold back her tears. "I just...I want to be happy again. I want to feel something other than pain and loneliness. And I don't know if I can find that anywhere."
"What about right here?" He said and held his hand against his chest.
"You hurt me...in my mind, yeah...I've forgiven you for what you did to me...but how am I suppose to convince my heart to forgive you Les," She said, her forehead crinkling with the expression on her face.
He stared at her, a sting in his eyes. "What about last night? What did you feel then?"
Andy paused, not having thought about it. "I don't know,"
"Well, figure it out Andy..." He said quickly.
She sighed and looked at the floor again. Les noticed.
"I mean, I'm sorry as hell for what I did. I'm getting help, I've changed. What more can I do?"
She looked at him. "Show me," She said quietly.
Les glanced at her and then moved towards her. She stared at him as he approached. His body was inches from hers as she leaned against the sink like the previous night. "Look at me, " He said and picked her chin up with his hand. Andy did what he said. "I love you..." He said passionately. "I always have."
She closed her eyes, a tear falling, her heart warming. "I love you to," She whispered, eyes still closed.
Les looked up and down her face and then wrapped his arms around her. Andy laid her head down on his chest and then let out a deep breath.
"Thank you," She said.
He squeezed her tighter and kissed the top of her head. When she pulled away, he made sure he kept her gaze.
"I will never hurt you again," He said with emphasis.
"That's good to know..." She said with a laugh and he joined in on it. After a second she spoke up again. "I guess I do know," She said quietly. "The truth is...I gave my heart away a long time ago...and I never really got it back..." Her face scrunched as she began to cry again.
Les cupped her cheek in his hand. "No, that's my heart. The truth for yours is...is that all that matters now is that it's right here." He said and placed his hand on his heart like he'd done earlier. "And that it's here to stay."
She nodded and he wiped away her tears with his finger before kissing her again. Andy put her arms above his shoulders and placed her head on one of them, embraced in his grasp. She found her happiness. She found where she was meant to be, despite the past.
Five weeks later, Les put his house in California up for sale and moved back to Philadelphia.
Author's Note: Awee! It's over! That is the end of Unconscious Flirtations. It was by far a joy to write and I hope a joy to read. Can't wait til the next time. Reviews are always welcome! -Shannon