Don only ever called when they were going to be full to the rafters. There wasn't enough work to give her a proper job, but sometimes they needed all the help they could get. Despite having been stuck temping for five months since finishing grad school and needing every break that came her way, Cathy wished, as she weaved her way through the crowds, hands sticky from cocktail glasses filled too high, hair falling in her face every time she twisted her head, that she had just stayed home. Tonight, the hotel was not just full, but full of VIPs. Full of egos. Full of people assuming that she had nothing to do but fetch them, personally, drinks and snacks all night long. Earlier on, she had tried to reason with one executive, who had been already several glasses of champagne out of sobriety, that if they were going to bring their whole show to the one hotel he couldn't possibly expect her undivided attention. All he had slurred in response was "Well, that's cost you your tip," after which she hadn't bothered.

Cathy dropped the tray onto the bar and slumped forward, rising again quickly when she realised the surface was wet with spilt beer. It was barely midnight and already she felt like she'd been there a full shift. Leaning heavily on a bar stool, she took the weight off her feet for one glorious moment before one of the barmen pushed another tray of drinks towards her and pointed to a table out on the terrace, just beyond the French windows. She sighed, brushed the hair out of her eyes for the twentieth time that night, lifted the tray and made her way through the throng again.

At least, she thought, as she moved cautiously across the room, it wasn't just some AGM or a no-name rock band out to cause trouble. It was the WWE circus that had come to town and there were more stars drinking in the bar than you could shake a pointy stick at. She even recognised some of them, having spent too many Friday and Monday nights at home in front of the TV with her brothers, unable to scrape together enough spare cash even for a coffee in town. There was Triple H, sharing some anecdote with Shawn Michaels while Stephanie and Rebecca drank Manhattans and swapped gossip. Jerry Lawler and JR seemed to have attracted quite a circle of interchangeable blonde Divas around them and an even larger selection of beer and champagne bottles. In the corner, Randy Orton seemed to have dozed off over his Corona. And there were dozens more. Once you added in all the technicians and personal trainers and doctors and referees and various suits, she could see why they needed all hands on deck. But still, it was wearing. She put the drinks down in front of Batista and Rey Misterio, who looked almost comically mismatched sitting side by side, and headed for the balustrade to sit down, just for a moment.

That was when he caught her eye. He was sat almost on the opposite side of the veranda at a crowded table with the Hardys, Paul London, and someone whose back was facing her, but might possibly be Christian. His shaggy blond hair and pale skin looked unnaturally bright in the backlight coming from the main bar. As her gaze settled upon him, someone at the table finished a joke and his face cracked into a broad smile. Spotting a couple of empty glasses on the table, she quickly made her way over to get a surreptitious closer look.

Leaning over the table to gather up the glasses, she took him in out of the corner of her eye. He wore a white shirt with the top buttons left open and a pair of slightly faded blue jeans. There was a faint line of dark stubble around his mouth and along the line of his jaw. His slender fingers idly twirled a cocktail stick, lifted from a now empty dish of olives. She hastily stacked the glasses onto her tray, feeling herself turning red, even in the gentle night breeze. But just as she was about to turn away, almost on automatic her mouth opened and she blurted out "Would you like something else to drink?"

Matt looked round the group quickly. "More beer?" The others nodded. Then suddenly she heard his voice.

"Actually, I'm starting to feel a little woozy – think I'm not over work yet. I'll just have some water."

The end of his sentence was drowned in disbelieving jeers. Paul, who was sat closest to him, pulled him into a gentle headlock and knocked several times on his skull, after which he held up his hands and conceded defeat. Grinning, Matt turned back to Cathy. "Five beers, please." She nodded in acknowledgement and turned back towards the bar.

Once inside the French windows, Cathy paused to catch her breath. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest, could almost hear it above the noise of the crowded bar. Brian Kendrick. High flier, former tag team champion, one-time streaker if she remembered it right. She'd never particularly noticed him like that before, but now he was here, in person, there was definitely something about him. However, now was not the time to stand around staring like a star-struck teenager – she was at work, and not being paid to be useless. She carefully weaved her way back to the bar, shouted the order to the nearest barman and sank down on a stool while he served it up. Something about him. Of course, there was bound to be something about a handsome man who was rich and famous, but then, half the men in the room were rich and famous. Something made him stand out and she wracked her brains trying to think what it was.

A prod in the arm brought her back to reality, and she pushed the hair out of her face, lifted the tray and made her way back across the room. They were deep in conversation when she returned to the table, the beers acknowledged by a distracted nod. She placed the last beer down in front of Brian, then discreetly reached back onto the tray and put a glass of water down beside him as well. He looked up and their eyes met. Windows to the soul, she could see in that brief instant, in that shining hazel clearness, why she'd had to look at him twice. Even at this late hour, after a long day, his eyes flickered with deep passion. He was a man who exuded purpose, a man with a plan, if you will. But no sooner had it come than the moment passed. He mouthed the words "thank you" as she blushed and hurried back to the bar.

* * *

By 4am, the bar had significantly emptied out. There were still a few hardcore drinkers, technicians mostly by the look of them, and there was still noise coming from the terrace, but the worst of it was over.

"Thanks for coming out, Cathy," Don told her as she pulled on her coat. "These guys'll be here all week, something about a scheduling snafu, I don't know – anyway, it'll probably be quieter the next few nights, but it might kick off again on Friday night, if you're around."

"Sure," Cathy replied, as she picked up her bag, "Just give me a call when you need me – not like I have any pressing engagements…" she reflected wearily.

They said goodnight and Don disappeared into the back room again. Cathy sighed and headed for the door.

"Hey, wait!"

She turned, and there was Brian hurrying across the room. His face looked somewhat flushed and there was a slight, but noticeable, unsteadiness as he moved. She'd tried to avoid the terrace since the incident earlier, if it wasn't inflating its importance a hundredfold to call it that. But each time she had been out, she couldn't stop herself from looking over at him, and she couldn't shake the feeling that, out of the corner of his eye, he'd been looking at her too.

He reached out and held her arm, leaning on it just a little heavier than she would have liked.

"Are you leaving already?" he asked, sounding almost slightly disbelieving.

"Already?" Cathy wondered if he had any idea what time it was. "It's 4am, I've been on my feet for the last six hours. I think it's time to go home and go to bed."

"Well, listen," he continued, still holding to her arm while the fingers of his other hand attempted to entwine themselves with hers, "Thanks for looking out for me earlier, that was real nice of you."

"No problem," Cathy replied, gently trying to detach his hand from her. "Hey, how's your head?"

"Better, thanks." He let go of her arm, but only to shift his hand up to her shoulder. "Are you sure you have to go?"

"Yes, I do," she said firmly, and with a little effort, wrenched his hand off her shoulder. But no sooner had she let go of his hand than he placed it right back on her shoulder and moved in a step closer. It was getting really difficult to ignore the smell of beer on his breath or the feeling that his leaning close was as much to do with being unable to stand up straight as with intimacy. He gently stroked her hair and leaned in to whisper in her ear.

"I thought maybe we could… get to know each other a little better…" And with that, he kissed her softly on the cheek, while the hand that had been on her shoulder began to slide downwards.

Cathy pushed him away as roughly as she could manage, and mustering all her stores of indignation, looked him straight in the eye.

"Mr. Kendrick, you are drunk! And we have not even been properly introduced!"

It was a line intended to confuse and disorientate as much as convey meaning, and for a moment Cathy thought it had done its job. But Brian saw Paul London coming up from behind them and pulled him to a halt.

"Buddy, you need to introduce us."

A thoroughly bemused expression took over Paul's face and, in a moment of weakness, Cathy felt absolute sympathy for him and stood on her tiptoes to whisper in his ear. With a theatrical flourish, he turned to face her.

"Miss Kaye, I would like to introduce Mr. Brian Kendrick," Turning to Brian, he proclaimed, "Brian, may I present Miss Catherine Kaye."

"Thank you," Cathy replied politely. Paul raised his invisible hat to her and then headed back out to the terrace with more than one backwards glance. As soon as he had ostensibly disappeared from view, Brian reached out to her again.

"You were saying?"

Cathy hesitated for a moment. On the one hand, how many opportunities would she ever have to get a little closer to a WWE superstar, especially one as handsome and clearly interested as Brian Kendrick? But on the other, to do so would violate a clear rule, that a person should never get involved with a guy for the first time when he's drunk. She looked into his eyes and felt that jolt of excitement again, that spark which made her want to move closer and feel all that passion directed at her. But even as she looked, common sense won out and she stepped away.

He stepped towards her and took her hand, turning his head this way and that to follow hers so that she couldn't help but look at him. And as she kept looking and as his soft blond hair passed underneath her fingertips she knew her resolve was weakening. She gently removed his hand from hers and reached into her bag, pulling out a pen and an old flyer for some high school play. Leaning on the bar, she wrote on it and then offered the page to Brian.

"Look," she conceded. "If you really want to get to know me better, then that is my number and you can call me when you are sober. And not before." she added as forcefully as she could.

He took the piece of paper and carefully pushed it deep into his pocket. Cathy swiftly made for the lobby. But she looked over her shoulder just as she reached the doorway and he was still standing there, watching her leave. Ignoring one last pang that told her she was doing the wrong thing, she slung her bag over her shoulder and headed out into the night.

* * *

It was about one o'clock in the afternoon and Cathy had just returned to her room after having a shower when her phone began to ring. Pulling her dressing gown more tightly around her, she picked up the phone and answered it.

"Hi, it's Cathy."

She almost dropped the phone when she recognised the voice at the other end.

"Hi Cathy, it's Brian Kendrick – I think we met last night."

Cathy was almost speechless. "Uh… yeah, we did. Um, hi…"

"So, listen," he continued, "I'm pretty sure I was acting, well, very forward, and I wanted to apologise if I made you feel uncomfortable."

"That's okay," Cathy said breathlessly. "I've seen worse."

"Not the point," he told her emphatically. There was a slight pause. "Have you had lunch?"

"No, not yet…"

"Well, can I buy you lunch? I don't want to leave you with the impression of me as just some sleaze who can't hold his drink."

Cathy's brain was racing to keep up with the enormity of this sudden string of events. "Sure," she replied, half dazed. "Shall I meet you in the hotel lobby in half an hour?"

"Great, I'll see you there."

And that was that. Cathy stared at her phone for a few moments, trying to convince herself that actually just happened. But it had, and she knocked herself out of her reverie and leapt for the closet, looking for the hairdryer.

* * *

Cathy arrived at the hotel a respectable two minutes late and Brian was already there waiting for her. He was simply dressed in a pair of jeans and a dark sweater, blond hair hanging loose onto the top of his broad shoulders. His eyes sparkled and his face betrayed no sign of a night spent drinking. There was only one conclusion Cathy could come to: he looked perfect.

She'd had very little time to figure out what to wear, and had opted for a pair of black linen trousers and a white blouse – enough to look classy, but not to appear overdressed. She'd had time to whip on a little mascara and eye shadow, but not time to put her hair up, so the long auburn tresses had just been brushed back out of the way.

He put forward his hand, as if to shake, but changed his mind and simply raised it in greeting.

"So," he asked after they had exchanged pleasantries. "Where do you want to eat? I think they're still serving lunch," he waved his hand in the vague direction of the hotel restaurant, "but I don't think it's very quiet in there."

"Hey, that's ok," Cathy told him. "There's a great little place just a couple of blocks over. It's not very fancy, but it's good food."

Brian smiled and her heart gave a brief flutter. "Sounds great – let's go!"

* * *

The conversation over lunch had been very formulaic – basic life stories, families, schools, and 'one time I was…', although inevitably, Brian's stories were far more interesting than hers in the last category, seeing as how he could include 'one time at a show in Rome' and 'one time after a ladder match', instead of just 'one time when we were drinking liquor behind the hardware store'. He was quite loquacious, and Cathy sat there, sipping her coffee and listening to him talk. He was very easy to listen to, clearly very intelligent and his eyes were always smiling, as if something funny was happening just out of view.

"…but then later on, when he came to, it was all cool, so I guess mild concussion sometimes works out." he finished.

"But do you never think when you go out to the ring, all it takes is one bad smack to the head and the rest of your life would just be wasted?"

"Maybe." The eternal smile of his eyes was fixed firmly upon her. "But then, it's no different every time you step out on the road. You can't lock yourself in a darkened room all your life. And even then, most accidents happen in the home."

"So, some kind of vault in the bowels of the earth might be in order?" she joked, unable to return to any kind of serious point while he smiled like that.

"Risk of being buried alive," he countered.

"Hollowed-out mountain hideaway?"

"Avalanches."

"Ice palace in the arctic wastes?"

"Global warming. And polar bears," he added as an afterthought.

Cathy held his faux-serious gaze for several moments, debating whether to hit him or crack up. A broad grin spread across his face and they both burst out laughing.

* * *

It was after four o'clock by the time Cathy and Brian found themselves wandering back to the hotel. It had been something of a surprise how fast the time seemed to have gone. Cathy felt so at ease with him, it was stunningly easy to fall into ridiculous back-and-forth banter about the silliest of subjects and not feel as if he was judging her. As they walked back, he smiled as she talked about the last time the hotel had been so full and the Jello Incident. It was kind of a silly story to tell, Cathy reflected as the words poured out of her mouth, but he was listening, really listening, and smiling, and that was what was really important.

They stopped outside the hotel entrance. The sun was already beginning to skim the tops of the trees surrounding the hotel's perimeter and around them several other guests were leaving the newly formed shadows and heading indoors. Again, Brian seemed to reach out for her hand before thinking better of it.

"Thanks for coming out – I had a great time with you," he told her, leaning back slightly on the balustrade. Cathy blushed slightly and her fingers started subconsciously playing with her hair.

"So did I," she admitted. "I was a little nervous about coming out today, but we've done a lot better than last night."

There was a brief smiling silence.

"Well, maybe we could do this again tomorrow?" Brian suggested slowly. "There must be other great places to eat lunch round here?"

Cathy felt a surge of relief flow through her that she had barely realised had been built up.

"There's always a great lunch if you know where to look," she agreed quickly.

"Unless you're five thousand feet up a mountain," he replied, the smile in his eyes looking positively wicked.

"A thousand generations of Nepalese goat herders might beg to differ," Cathy told him.

Their eyes met in an unspoken agreement to stop.

"So, meet back here tomorrow lunchtime?" he asked, pulling himself up straight again. Cathy nodded, almost inaudibly saying "OK." He reached out his hand again and this time he did take hers and squeezed it gently, before turning and climbing the stairs to the lobby. At the top, he turned and smiled at her before disappearing into the hotel. And Cathy floated home.

* * *

Cathy and Brian spent a lot of Wednesday together, and Thursday. After lunch, they went walking and talking, stopping wherever it took their fancy, and always close to the next laugh. A few people stopped them to ask Brian for an autograph or a photo, but Cathy was struck by how little Brian seemed to be the huge star that he was. A small part of her brain would insist on seeing this all as strange and unreal, but it really felt nothing of the sort. She simply could not associate Brian Kendrick the WWE superstar with Brian Kendrick who was telling her jokes, capering around and holding her hand. It was ridiculous to think they could really be the same person.

But then on Thursday evening, as they sat in a bar, having a few drinks and trying to talk over the generic rock being piped in over the speaker system, that began to change.

They had just settled down with what was, officially, the last round before heading home, Brian twisting the neck of the beer bottle between his fingers and Cathy sliding her fingers along the thin stem of her margarita glass, when Brian suddenly looked up, putting his bottle down with a resounding thump.

"So, we have the live show to do tomorrow," he started. "I don't have much to do, just one short match, but I'm supposed to be around all day anyway." He paused, looking at her soft brown eyes, gentle smile and long auburn hair framing her face. "I'd still like to see you," he admitted. "Would you like to hang out backstage during the show and come out with us after?"

He couldn't possibly be serious. "Are you sure I wouldn't get in the way of everything?"

"Of course not!" But that was a serious look in his eyes. "It's not a busy night for me, and I think I'm on early. After that we can just find a quiet spot and enjoy the rest of the show."

This might have fazed Cathy, but it couldn't possibly be happening. She lifted her glass, gently swirled the contents and took a sip, holding Brian's gaze all the while.

"Sure."

* * *

Arriving at the arena the next evening and approaching the back door, it began to sink into Cathy's mind what she'd been doing all week. Her fingers quivered a little as she dialled Brian's number on her phone and she shifted her weight nervously from foot to foot as she waited for him to arrive. It was already dark outside and there was a slight chill in the air from the cloudless sky. She'd smartened herself up a bit so as not to embarrass Brian in front of his friends and co-workers. She'd pulled on a pair of smart dark trousers, lifted by a pair of black boots with a medium heel, and a v-necked black and white top with a light jacket – just enough to look good without looking like she was taking it all too seriously. Sure, it was making her jittery, but there was no point in trying to glitz up and pretend she was really on their level. It was best just to be comfortable and enjoy her last night with Brian and hope she didn't offend too many people.

The door opened and the Brian Kendrick she'd seen on the television was standing there. He had already changed into his ring gear, although he wore a black WWE t-shirt under his white jacket, bedazzled on one side and what looked like leopard print on the other. The t-shirt partially covered his black and red trunks and his thighs looked particularly white between those and his high black boots. He slid his arm round her waist and hurried her inside and closed the door firmly behind her.

"Looks like a pretty big crowd out front," she remarked as they made their way down the corridor. "Might've thought they'd have trouble pulling in the crowds for two events in one week."

"Some people make a lot of effort to see their favourite wrestlers," he remarked idly. "Plus, it's not like we're here that often, and there is something special about the live show."

Cathy nodded, in a kind of wonderment, as they wandered into a busier part of the backstage area. All around them, people were hurrying along carrying cables, cameras, clipboards, coffee in giant cardboard cups and even, in one case, a huge inflatable palm tree. Eventually, Brian was able to lead her through what seemed to be the main hive of activity, past a buffet table where they liberated some fruit and a handful of cocktail sausages, and onto a carelessly stuffed sofa between some piles of the omnipresent brown boxes.

"So that's backstage," Brian told her, taking a large bite out of an apple. "If you're into that sort of thing. It all works somehow."

"So many people," Cathy remarked, nibbling at one of the sausages. "You wouldn't think it could take so many people just for some guys to go into a ring and fight each other."

Brian grinned. "But of course it's not just about the fight, is it? It's about making a show." He tossed the half-eaten apple in the air. "Bread and circuses, right? They made the bread, now we gotta give them the circus."

Cathy kept turning her head, taking in her surroundings. Not that there was anything particularly special or exciting about them of themselves, but they were given significance because of what was happening within them. The butterflies in her stomach grew as it became harder and harder to ignore that she was backstage at a WWE show, sitting on a sofa, eating from the show's buffet with Brian Kendrick. Whose voice broke through the frantic reveries in her mind.

"Are you ok?" he asked, reaching out and gently resting his hand on her shoulder.

"Sorry," she said, letting her hand slide gently over his, "It just seems so weird."

Brian stood up suddenly. "You think this is weird?" he asked her, sounding offended. "Sitting here, eating sausages, that's weird?" He pulled her up by her hand. "We can do way better than that for weird. Come on!" With that, he turned and hurried down a small corridor and opened a heavy fire door. Seeing her still standing there, he motioned for her to follow him. Bemused, Cathy swallowed the last of the cocktail sausages and went after him.

* * *

"Now," Brian asked softly. "Isn't that much weirder?"

Cathy held tightly to the handrails on the gantry. The arena was at least seventy or eighty feet below them and the floor of the gantry was meshed so if she looked at her feet she could see how far she was from solid ground. Normally she didn't get squeamish with heights, but Brian was right – this was a lot weirder.

The arena was spread out in front of them. All around the edge of the building, fans were still pouring in, laden down with home-made signs and drinks and as much merchandise as they could carry. From all around, bright flashes sparkled in the crowd as the excited throng sought to capture the occasion on camera. Directly below them, the technicians were checking that all the pyro was set up correctly. Various cameramen were making their way to ringside, and there, in the centre of it all, was the ring, with the WWE and Smackdown logos prominently splashed on each side. The bright white canvas drew the eye, as if it could already see the power and the passion that would be poured into it later that night. The air was thick with anticipation. For all that the roar of the crowd was undefined and chaotic, their focus was unmistakeable. Drawn in by the wonder of it all, Cathy barely noticed the arm gently wrapping itself around her waist.

"Pretty cool, huh?" he whispered softly. Cathy slowly turned her head and found herself looking into those big hazel eyes. The sounds of the arena were drowned out by the rapid thumping of her heart, and as he gently cupped her face in his hand, the ring and the drop faded into irrelevance to be replaced only by his eyes and a growing feeling of longing.

"Hey! What are you doing up here?"

The harsh voice shattered the moment into thousands of irretrievable pieces. Brian quickly stepped forward to identify himself and the technician, slightly mollified, replied,

"Well, you'd better get down – the first match'll be starting in a minute, and you oughta be downstairs."

Brian nodded an acknowledgement and, taking Cathy's hand, moved past the technician and back towards the ground again.

* * *

As they were walking back towards the main backstage area, they met Paul in the corridor.

"Hey buddy," Paul greeted him. "Where've you been?"

"Oh, nowhere special," Brian replied coyly. Paul's eyes darted disbelievingly between his friend and Cathy.

"If you say so." The raised eyebrow was worth a thousand words. "Hey, that reminds me," he added suddenly. "Your man Zeke's been looking for you. The show's starting in a minute."

He nodded. "Can't keep the big guy waiting, I guess. Thanks man." He took Cathy's hand and set off down the corridor.

"Brian!" He stopped and looked back at Paul. "You guys coming out after the show? Matt says he's found a bar downtown that'll let us all hang out, get us out of the hotel."

His eyes quickly flicked to Cathy and his mind to the moment that had almost been. "Yeah, we'll be there, man. Catch you later, ok?" With that, he turned and led Cathy quickly towards where Ezekiel would be waiting.

* * *

Ezekiel Jackson loomed. There was no other word for it. From one end of the passageway, he just looked big – but up close, to someone small like Cathy, he seemed not so much a person as a geographical feature. He was a clear half foot taller and wider even than Brian, who was a head taller than her to start off with. Brian seemed hardly to notice as he shrugged off his jacket, which the big man caught almost without moving, and pulled off his t-shirt. He passed it back to Cathy and then slid his arms back into the warm white jacket.

"Cathy and I were just hanging out," he told Ezekiel as he limbered up. "Is it almost time?"

"Next match." Even as he said this, two wrestlers came in from the arena looking somewhat battered. Brian shook himself down and turned to Cathy.

"There's a screen over there you can watch the match on," he told her, pointing over to a wall monitor.

"Who're you fighting?" she asked, winding the t-shirt round her hands. Brian shrugged his shoulders. "Some local indy kid. Shouldn't take long. Then we can go and find someplace more comfortable." Ezekiel motioned for him to come over to the entrance, and he quickly put one arm round her and gave her a short squeeze.

"Wait here, I'll be right back." His eyes gleamed with purpose. One eye shut briefly in a wicked wink, and then he turned and disappeared towards the ring with Ezekiel.

* * *

True to his word, Brian did not take long. He had dispatched the indy kid within ten minutes, was showered and changed within another twenty, and within another five had found them a quiet spot from which to watch the rest of the show. After that, the night blended into one long string of alcohol, anecdotes and attempted dancing. Everyone was there, but somehow Brian was never that far from Cathy's side – talking, laughing, making sure her glass was always full. Four o'clock the next morning found Brian and Cathy, arm in arm, attempting to negotiate their way back to the hotel. As they crossed the bridge and the hotel began to rise up a few short blocks down the street, Cathy thought about the amazing time she'd had with Brian over the last few days. It brought a smile to her face – apart from tonight, they hadn't done anything exotic or exciting, but they didn't have to, because there was no such thing as a dull moment when Brian was around.

"It's been an interesting few days," she opined to the air. Brian said nothing, but in a surprisingly fluid movement, lifted her off her feet, spun her round full circle and then smoothly put her back down again. For a moment, Cathy found herself staring into Brian's sparkling eyes once more, drinking in their passion, feeling the rest of the world disappear for that one brief moment. And then it was past and the world was back again. "But I guess tomorrow is another day." She'd been trying not to think of it, but there wasn't much time left to pretend it wasn't going to happen. The hotel was drawing nearer, there they would say goodbye and then it would recede into the half-remembered past, like a dream that seems so real, but never actually happened.

"Come with me."

The words came so suddenly, Cathy was only half-sure they'd been said. She turned, and Brian had stopped, was looking at her with unnatural focus, her hand in his, blond hair swept back from his face, lit by a solitary street light some fifteen yards distant. As she stared, she heard the words again:

"Come with me."

No doubt about it – the words had come from his mouth.

"What do you mean?" she asked, as his hand began to snake gently up her arm. "Come where?"

"Anywhere the wind blows," he smiled. "We've had some fun, and there's nothing keeping you here – why not let the good times keep rolling?" His hand reached out and softly brushed her cheek. "You do like being with me, don't you?"

She couldn't trust herself to meet his eyes, but there was nowhere else to look but into their bright, almost hypnotic, gaze. "Well, yes," she admitted. "But… it has only been a few days, what if things don't work out, what if…?"

He put his finger to her lips. "Play it by ear. If it stops working, you can just go home again. And if it doesn't," He smiled and tilted her face towards him, "There's a lot of fun to be had out there."

His free hand pulled her close, and this time there was no interruption.