Ruby bobbed her head up and down. “Thanks.” Bundled in her hands was a stack of fabric. She slipped by him and slid the door shut.
Hikaru sighed and moved about the apartment. ‘This is getting ridiculous. She’s not under foot to be exact and it isn’t like she’s stopping me from doing anything, but there isn’t enough time in the day.’ He moved about cleaning. It seemed so rude to clean when there was a guest, which was probably why he had let it get to a messy state.
‘It’s been a couple of days and this happens?’
He placed things back to their rightful spot and began to dust his shelves and every spare surface. The vacuum was out and he was about to turn it on when the door slid open again. ‘Damn it!’
“Do you need a hand cleaning?” She wore a loose singlet and a pair of baby pink cotton shorts.
“No, it’s fine.” Was an automatic answer.
Ruby frowned. “If we both get it done, we can be finished quickly.”
“You’re a guest.” He shot back.
She rolled her eyes. “I’ll clean the kitchen.” Ignoring his protests, she moved into the room in question and began to clink glasses together. Rushing water filled the silence.
‘I shouldn’t be letting her do that… she isn’t paying to stay here… it isn’t polite.’
Ruby stuck her head back out. “You look like you’re in pain.”
“No, I’m fine. And the cleaning is fine. I was just going to tidy up a little, that’s all.”
“And I’ll tidy up in here, that’s all,” cheekily she ducked out of view.
Hikaru sighed. ‘If she’s fine doing it, then I won’t stop her.’ He turned the vacuum on and began to run it around. Into his bedroom, he zipped about, picking up clothes from the floor. ‘I’ll do a load of washing tonight.’
Down the short hall he dragged the vacuum and turned to go into the kitchen.
Ruby was hunched over the sink.
He began to move around her, leaving a space for her to stand. When he was left with no-where else, he tapped her ankle with the head of the vacuum.
Ruby didn’t move.
“Can you shift?”
Ruby gave him a blank look. “Shift?”
“Yes, to the side.”
“Do you mean this glass?” She shifted it across the counter.
She laughed. “I’m playing.” She shifted, closer to him.
He inhaled sharply. Her shampoo filled his senses as her body heat reached out to him and beckoned him to touch her bare skin on display.
Ruby flicked her tongue over her lips.
‘That’s close… real close… I know what I want to do… but she’s a guest… and still in mourning… I need to step away or say something.’
Ruby stepped back. “Sorry,” she muttered and shifted to the other side.
‘Too long, baka.’ Hikaru was disappointed in himself. Quickly, he vacuumed the spot she left opened and turned and headed out to go work in the bathroom.
Soon, the apartment was cleaned.
Ruby dragged out the futon from the cupboard, Hikaru moved the table from the centre of the room, she rolled it out, he passed her the pillow from the cupboard. “Just a sheet?”
She nodded her head. “Please. Too hot for anything else.”
Together, they spread it over the futon.
Either side, they crouched and stared at each other. The feeling in the room shifted, it made Hikaru tingle in an anticipation that was becoming normal since he’d met her. He was hyper aware of every move she made.
She licked her lips.
She shifted on the balls of her feet.
She wasn’t wearing a bra.
‘Don’t be a perv… then again, it would be nice to kiss her again.’
Ruby pulled a face. “Are you waiting for something?”
‘Be bold.’ “I was thinking.”
“About?” She prompted.
“Kissing you.” He swallowed. ‘We’re not teens, saying what we want should be a lot easier now days. We should be fluent in this language.’ Still, he felt his cheeks begin to burn.
Ruby smiled shyly. “It’s been a while since we’ve kissed.”
“On campus. That was the only time.”
“Actually, we never did much of anything else…” his mind drifted away from kissing. “Flirting has been the only thing we’ve done.”
“We can change that.”
He snapped to attention. “What?”
“We can change that. We can do more than flirting.”
“But Ruby, I’m not saying this to be a gentleman, but you said you’re looking for a husband. You’re flying out soon, anything we do will be little more than a fling.” Hikaru hated himself but he respected her too much to not say the words. ‘It has to be her choice.’
With clear purpose, Ruby pushed herself forward, her hands supporting her as she crowded into his personal space. “I’m not saving myself for marriage Hikaru. Finding someone I could fall in love with was what I hoped for on this trip. If you don’t want to have sex, that’s fine. Don’t-”
He silenced her, both hands cupping her face as he pressed his lips to hers.
She shuffled, moving her hands. Suddenly, he felt like he hand been branded, white hot fire on either knee. He gasped and broke the contact of their lips to look down and find her hands tighten on his knees, skin on skin contact. He shivered.
“This isn’t sex,” finding his voice, Hikaru made sure they both understood what was happening. “We both agreed that we’ve been falling in love with each other. If we continue, then I’m making love to you.”
Ruby blinked. “Okay, but nothing’s going to happen if you don’t have a condom.”
The blood froze in his veins. ‘When was the last time I brought condoms? Would they even still be in date if I had any?’ “I can go to the store,” he suggested.