They had talked, emailed, texted. Words were her medium of comfort before his broad shoulders entered her door. The previous heat was now consumed by a pressure to be charming, to be like she was before they met. She couldn’t think of a thing to say.
Instead of turning the door knob in his hand, he turned around, looked down at her, and said, “One thing before dinner.”
“Oh?” She asked, thinking maybe he’d changed his mind. Maybe he’d mistaken her awkward silence as a sign and no longer thought her interesting. I get better. I really do, she thought, with time.
“Yes. One thing,” and with that his hands — the fingernails trimmed nearly to cuticles — firmly grasped her shoulders, spun her around, and pushed her forward to the back of the couch.
Leaving her shoulders, those hands traveled down her hips, tracing the snug cotton of her skirt to its hem.
“Bend,” he commanded. She did, effortlessly and comfortably, feeling a familiarity at last. The hem was lifted over her stockings, past the naked tops of her thighs, past the lace panties.
“Oh,” she breathed again, wondering at his next move, not caring that her retort lacked brilliance.
They stood there: her skirt at her waist, her hands on the couch cushions, his formidable shoulders behind her. Fingers straightened the edges of her panties before a palm gently soothed her cheeks.
Anticipation engulfed the silence. She wondered at herself, at him, how he could know that this wouldn’t scare her, but instead calm her.
“Better?” He asked.
On a breath, the first she’d taken since he arrived, she simply said, “Yes. Much.”
“Good,” he said as he pulled her skirt back down. “Ready for dinner?”