"Hey," he greeted back, giving her a peck on the lips. "You said you had something you wanted to show me?"
"Yes," she acknowledged. "Do you want to see my box?"
"Your...uh...bluh?" The speech center of Tom's brain suffered a temporary blackout as all the blood in his head suddenly rushed south.
"Follow me," she purred, and turned to go upstairs. Tom followed her stiffly...rigidly...woodenly...damnit, why couldn't he think of anything else?
Daria paused at the threshhold of her room. "In here, she beckoned to him softly." If the room were a magnet and Tom were an iron filing, he had just passed the point of no return.
Tom took one last breath and crossed into the room. He glanced around and did a double take.
On the floor lay a large cardboard box that had obviously once held a large appliance.
Tension broken, Tom started laughing. It was the hardest he had laughed in a while, much more deeper than his usual chuckle. After he wiped the tears from his eyes, he managed to look Daria in the eye again. One of her characteristic low-key smiles sat on her face.
"Enjoying yourself?" she asked.
"Well, for a second there, I thought...well, it's not important." Tom understood Daria was teasing him, and he didn't want to pressure her on the sex issue again.
Daria turned to look at the box with a far away expression. "This box brought up some old memories. I associate it with feelings of safety and comfort."
She abruptly got down on her hands and knees and crawled inside.
Tom didn't know how to respond, so he waited for another prompt from Daria.
Something came flying out, a small wadded bundle, which landed at Tom's feet. He bent over to pick them up.
They were a pair of panties, still warm.
Tom's mouth suddenly went very dry.
"Well, Tom?" Daria asked throatily. "Did you want to see my box or not?"
Tom's mouth opened and closed several times as his speech center once again closed for business. He then closed his mouth, dropped the undergarments, and hurriedly entered Daria's box.