"New York Minute"
The story takes place at the very end of the third season episode, "Elaine's Old Friend," in which Elaine tells an old friend from high school about a fictional fantastic boyfriend, and then the friend suggests the two couples go on a double-date. To save Elaine from admitting that she has no boyfriend, Alex volunteers to play the part . . . and his acting is WAY too good. He romanced Elaine with sweet nothings, held her close while they were dancing, and kissed her . . . and then claimed that it was all an act. At the scene where "Two" starts, Elaine has admitted that Alex's words and actions made her feel extremely attracted to him all evening, and that she wouldn't have felt that way if everything he did hadn't been for real. Alex is desperately denying that his words and actions were anything more than a part he played.
"So you felt nothing when you kissed me?" Elaine demanded.
Alex started to feel claustrophobic and even a little panicky. "Nothing. Watch." He took her by the shoulders and gently kissed her lips.
The broke contact, and Alex said, "See? Nothing."
Elaine pursed her lips and fixed the man before her with a strong gaze.
She's not buying it, Alex thought.
"You don't feel a thing when I do this -- ." Elaine kissed Alex with unrestrained passion, and he felt the floor beneath him drop away. He was standing on thin air and despite his fear of divulging his true feelings -- to her and to himself -- he couldn't stop from kissing her back with equal enthusiasm.
When their lips parted again the expression on Alex's face told Elaine tales that were more convincing than words could assuage. The dopey, slightly confused look was unmistakable: pure animal desire. She smirked in triumph . . . never wondering if her own face held the same expression.
Alex felt as if he'd had the breath stolen from his lungs. He cleared his throat a few times and finally managed to utter, "Uh -- ." He could sense a two-pronged road in front of him, and he had no idea which avenue he wanted to explore.
Say no, his knee-jerk response instructed him. Tell her that her kisses don'tmake you feel like your head is no longer attached to your shoulders; and that right now you are feeling no particular desire to explore every inch of her body.
Or, an oft-unspoken recess of his mind proposed, take a chance. Say yes. Tell her everything you've kept bottled up for three years.
"Alex?" Elaine asked.
"Yeah," he heard himself say.
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"I mean, um -- ." You've come this far! Don't chicken out now! "I mean, yes. I was definitely feeling . . . something significant . . . when you, ah, kissed me."
"Oh, really? Significant, how?"
"Oh, like . . . well, y'know." He shifted his footing and half smiled at her.
"No, I have no idea what you're talking about," Elaine answered coyly.
"What, you want me to spell it out for you?"
An Archaic smile touched her lips; her composure was astounding. "Yes."
Alex's face turned serious. "I was feeling like I wasn't playing a part at all. That the reason everything I said tonight came out so smoothly was because I had rehearsed those words in my head a hundred times in the three years we've known each other."
Elaine was plainly amazed. "Really?" she breathed.
"I had no idea . . . even the part about us being 'destined' to meet?"
Alex smiled. "Especially that part."
Elaine felt dazed. She suppressed with effort a silly little smile that was tugging at the corners of her mouth. Was this her Alex? Her buddy, who -- she had thought -- never once looked at her as anything more than a co-worker and friend? Who had never once reciprocated the attraction she had just admitted to feeling for him? This evening had not turned out to be what she had expected at all!
Was this why he volunteered to pretend to be my date to begin with? Is this an admission, or a proposition? Elaine had to know what was going on in his head, but she knew that this evening was a one-time event. If they parted right now, this moment would be lost forever, and tomorrow they would tell themselves to forget that their respective admissions had ever happened.
"Well -- I, ah . . . " She glanced at the watch on her wrist. "It's still early . . . can you come inside, so we can discus this . . ." she paused, the right words to describe this evening escaping her. "To discuss everything?" she finally settled on.
Alex paused, his old reticence kicking in.
Don't be stupid -- this is the opportunity you thought you would never have. If you leave now, you'll regret for the rest of your life that you wimped out because you were afraid she'd shoot you down.
"Sure," he answered. "I'd like that."
I'd love to hear what you think (what would you like to see happen in the sequal?), so please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.