Author's note: The characters are not my invention. This is my first attempt at writing anything fictitious. This piece follows on from 'Don't' by GentleReader. Please read this first if you haven't already. This inspired me to contrast Maddie's thoughts on David's reaction to her questions.

Maddie's response to David's "Don't"

"I don't want you to marry Sam"

She stood rooted to the floor, shaking slightly, gripping her desk, tears beginning to cloud her vision as he took off, half closing, half slamming the door behind him. The pain of his leaving her alone was too much for her.

'Damn you David!' she said to herself. 'Why do I bother?'

Her intuition knew that whatever David had wanted to tell her when he had interrupted her dinner the other night was likely to be earth shattering. He never failed to surprise her. If she had dared to believe what she thought he had wanted to say, it made her want to weep. It also made her mad. Angry that he'd waited until someone else wanted her, someone perfect for her in every way except one – he wasn't David.

She'd gone to him in the middle of last night feeling vulnerable, scared, curious and hell bent determined on getting him to talk. She urgently needed to know his most private feelings in order for her to begin to untangle her own heart. After two years of seeing him every day, she and it were at breaking point.

On first sight of him in that scruffy, torn t-shirt he was nothing like the perfect image she had in her head of a partner, yet she wanted to bury herself in his arms. Her head was spinning. She felt confused and sad. She knew she had to hold it together. Fortunately, the sight of his 'furnitureless' room brought her down to earth with a bang. What on earth was this? She knew she couldn't live like this, and yet there he was, offering her food, finding her something to sit on, looking after her in a way that only David did. She needed to hold him again. She sat down. When he finally pulled her to him she was so relieved. He smelt of washing powder and musk. The closeness of him and softness of his "it's ok" made her sob.

She hated how he made her question herself, her needs, her furniture, her values, her judgements, the way she lived her live. She hated him! She hated him and yet had never felt love so unconditionally than at that moment. She told him.

When he kissed her, her insides churned with desire yet he didn't take it further. He still hadn't said anything. She thought about her messy mascara.

All last night whilst lying beside another man she had thought about him, contemplated him, tossed and turned, being thrown around on an emotional roller coaster. She made decisions only to change her mind five minutes later.

Then, the next morning, exhausted, as she opened her office door, there he was - intense, perturbed, chasing her as she tried to get away from him unable to hold it together any longer. She felt angry.

Finally she made a decision 'How do you feel about me David?' There she had said it. He'd have to respond now. Finally she could get off that roller coaster, facts in hand, emotions in tack. Finally she would be able to make a decision and give Sam an answer. 'I have a right to know don't I? don't I?' 'He's willing to make a commitment to me – how about you?' She had him cornered – or so she thought. Nothing. Silence. Why wasn't he talking? He was never silent. He always knew what to do, what to say. His eyes bore into her soul. Silently she willed him to speak. Come on David. He turned for the door, leaned his head against it and softly said "Don't ….I don't want you to marry Sam"

She felt sick. This was it, surely now they could talk; get to the truth behind both of their erratic behaviours over the past week. He made a joke, a bad joke as usual, then brushed his lips against her palm and was gone.

His words rang in her head. "Don't". That was enough for now. She knew she wouldn't. She knew she couldn't. She knew she was one step closer to him telling her what she needed to hear. Inch by inch, joke after joke, fight after fight, smile after smile.

Trembling with relief she sank to the floor. 'Damn you David!'

She would go to dinner with Sam. Tell him that she couldn't marry him. Tell Sam the truth and then wait for David to commit. She would wait for him to get it right. She would get it right herself. Untangle her heart and her feelings for him.

One thing she was absolutely sure of though was that beautiful kiss, which needed to reach its logical conclusion.