I am so sorry that real life and troubles at work have kept me away from updating. I'm not a very happy person right now. This is short and sweet, but I didn't want any more time to pass without continuing.
Florence had no idea how much time had passed before she heard the key in the lock. It took her a few seconds to realize what was happening. She stood up, blinking and wiping away at her tears. Narrowing her red, wet eyes, she licked her lips and clenched her fists at her sides. As she watched Freddie come into the room, she immediately noticed the overstuffed brown paper bags in his arms. When he kicked the door closed, he looked up and their eyes met.
"Hey!" he said, his voice full of affection and enthusiasm. "I hoped I'd be back before you got home," he confessed, moving towards the tiny kitchen table to carefully sit his armload down. He felt her eyes trained on him the whole time he settled the packages on the glasstop. "You OK?" he asked, coming back to stand before her, taking in her demeanor for the first time.
"When you weren't here... I thought..." she tried.
"I went to get dinner," he explained gently, reaching out to lay his hands on her trembling shoulders. From the look she was giving him, he expected her to shrug them off and slug him.
"I thought you..." she began.
"Well you thought wrong," he said, interrupting her and grinning. "Did I think about running? Yes. Am I scared? Yes... I'm terrified... Of losing you all over again. I don't want to mess this up... Again," he added.
"It takes two to tango AND to crash and burn, Freddie," she said firmly, a tender smile spreading across her lips. "I'm not the innocent victim in our story."
He chuckled. "Yeah, I know... Your halo is crooked," he smirked.
She squeezed her eyes closed for a few moments. Before more than a few seconds passed, she felt his warm lips brushing hers. It ignited a fire deep in her soul, a fire she thought had long since burned itself out. Wrapping her arms around his waist after he drew her close against him, she relaxed into his embrace and deepened the kiss. A full minute went by before she hesitantly pulled away.
"What? I'm sorry... I shouldn't have..." he offered, reluctantly releasing her and taking a step back.
"No, no... It's OK," she sighed, opening her eyes. "It's just... I don't want to mess this up... again... either," she said, a faint smirk tugging at the corners of her swollen mouth. "Let's take it slow and enjoy getting to know each other as the people we are now," she suggested, running her hands through her tousled curls.
Freddie nodded. "And eat," he added brightly, gesturing to the yet unopened dinner he brought for them to share.
"Good idea. I'm starving," she smiled. "Whatcha got cookin'?" she teased as they went to start fixing the food.
Once the sandwiches were made and beer poured, they sat across from each other, eating in silence and smiling.
"What made you turn around and stay?" she asked out of the blue as they cleaned up their meal.
"You," he replied simply.