So I guess you guys are really really lucky coz the train was 20 minutes late which gave me more time to finish the third chapter. Hope you guys like it. I have some ideas for the next chapter, but I don't know when I'll be able to post it. Keep your fingers crossed that I find some time!
"Do you have a glass for me, too?"
Ben was looking at her again, head cocked to one side, holding up the wine bottle questioningly. Kate on the other hand was still standing inside her bathroom door, speechless because of him being there. She knew his methods were rather bold at times, but climbing over their balconies to be able to talk to her was plain cocky. It was nice to see though, that he wouldn't give up on her that easily.
Not sure if she should be mad about the whole situation he had gotten her into or if she should be amused by the image of him climbing over the railings with his ridiculously expensive tailored suit she just pointed at one of the boxes she hadn't unpacked yet and watched him as he found another wine glass and poured himself a good measure of the red liquid.
"You want some more, too?" he asked, holding up the bottle again.
She nodded and when he walked towards her, bottle in one hand and glass in the other she took a few steps in his direction, too. They met in the middle, which, on second thought, was kinda ironic, and he poured the rest of the wine into her glass.
He walked the few steps back to the counter, left the empty bottle there and returned to her.
Raising his glass he said "To good neighborship?" She couldn't help but notice the questioning undertone in his voice and considered for a moment if she should clink glasses with him or not. There were a lot of reasons against it, but since Ben was in her living room now and surely wasn't going to leave again until she showed at least some signs of calming down and accepting their new living arrangements, she raised her glass, too. She didn't say a word though, but that didn't seem to bother Ben the slightest. He just smiled his trademark smile and took a large sip.
"See? Wasn't so hard, was it?" he exclaimed, looking around the room in the process. Since she wasn't talking he continued. "You haven't made lots of changes yet, huh? If you need a lift to Bed, Bath and Beyond these next few days though just give me a shout-out. I'm your man. If you ask nicely I might even get my tools out and assemble your furniture for you. Though another glass of wine might help the process along."
He glanced back at her but she was still standing silently in the middle of the room "Those wings are nice though." He now stood in front of the wing pictures Justin had given her as a housewarming gift. They were beautifully crafted with a great sense for dimension and details.
He finally could hear a rustling behind him. The mentioning of the wings seemed to have shaken Kate out of her reverie and he was gladly taking a side glance at her when she came up next to him.
"Justin gave those to me as a housewarming gift" she could feel Ben stiffen at her words "he wanted me to move in with him because we couldn't find an apartment which we both liked."
She wasn't looking at him but it didn't matter, since Ben didn't dare to look at her either. They both stared at the respective wings they were standing in front of. He was glad that she finally talked again, but the topic of Justin wasn't what he had hoped for. Yet he was willing to listen if talking about Justin was what she needed right now.
"I desperately wanted Justin and me to work again, that's why I was willing to find a new place with him, but those last few days I realized that he and I aren't meant to be together. Actually I did a lot of realizing." She now turned to face him, so he did the same, though there was still a decent space between them. A look into her eyes told him, that she felt a lot of different emotions at the moment. He could see the hurt in her eyes, but the glowing happiness they normally radiated was nowhere to be seen. There was something else though. Was it hope? He couldn't place it yet, but his curiosity was peaked.
"For one I realized that I still have feelings for Justin" she could see his expression falter, so she added rather hastily "but I also realized that those feelings do not include love anymore." His features softened again and for a moment they looked each other deeply in the eyes until Kate suddenly slouched to the floor, back to the wall, head in her hands.
Ben was surprised by her sudden movement and when she started talking again he sat down next to her and took one of her hands into both of his, drawing circles with one of his thumbs on the back of it, which seemed to calm her down a bit.
"Ohh Ben, I'm so sorry. You poured your heart out to me in Lake Tahoe and I just turned around and ran back to Justin. I do know how you feel, but I'm scared and so freaking confused. You make me feel special with everything you do and I just don't know how to deal with that. I do like you… a lot actually"
She smiled shyly at him and he squeezed her hand slightly. "But I need some time, Ben. I need to sort out my feelings and I don't want to rush into anything. Can you understand that?"
She fully faced him now and her left hand joined his caressing her right one. Looking into her eyes again he nodded slowly. When she smiled slightly he stood up slowly and tugged her back up with him.
Their hands still joined he said "I do understand. And I hope you're not too mad at me for being your new neighbor now." She squeezed his hands slightly and he took it as a good sign. "I will go back to my place now so that you can settle in. But before I leave I have to ask you: Will you go out with me this weekend?" Her hands stiffened under his touch "It doesn't have to be a date, Katie. We could just go out as friends, I want to get to know you better. It can be whatever you want."
She was silent for a moment, but then she nodded and said silently "Okay."
Ben smiled warm-heartedly at her, took her face in is hands and kissed her forehead. He was glad that Kate didn't object and with a last smile at her he turned and said "I'm taking the door this time if it's okay with you" Kate had to chuckle. "Ohh and just in case you're up early, I'm leaving for the office around eight thirty, so if you need a ride just come knocking on my door, okay? And remember, whatever one is dreaming on the first night in a new home will come true, so sweet dreams to you." And with that he smiled a last time at her and left through the front door.