"Okay, that was delicious," I said, wiping my mouth with a napkin.
"Really?" Deidre asked, her eyes wide.
I laughed and kissed her cheek. "Really. I'm very impressed. You might be a natural."
"Tell that to the stupid knife," she huffed.
I laughed. "You'll get used to the knife. What are you doing?"
She was collecting everyone's plates. Our moms were leaning back in their chairs, looking close to passing out. The lasagna really had been delicious and we all had second helpings. There wasn't any left.
"I'm cleaning up, duh," she said.
"Nuh-uh," I said, taking the casserole dish. "You cooked, I clean."
She took it back from me. "No. I did all of this for you. That includes cleaning."
"How about we compromise?" I suggested. "You rinse, I'll put it in the dishwasher."
She smiled. "I can agree to that. Only because that dishwasher still confuses me, though," she said.
I laughed. We stood in the kitchen, rinsing the dishes and putting them away. I was very touched that she went through all that trouble. Lasagna was an incredibly hard dish to make for a first time cook. Judging by the mess of the kitchen, though, she seemed to have had plenty of trouble. She apologized a lot but I promised her it was normal.
Our moms went to bed while we were still cleaning. I chuckled.
"I'm pretty sure they ate themselves into a coma," I said and she laughed.
I put a gel cap of soap into the dishwasher and pressed the start button. I stretched and she took the opportunity to wrap her arms around me. I smiled and hugged her back.
"Thank you," I repeated for probably the hundredth time.
She stood on her toes and kissed me. "You're welcome. I had fun."
"Wanna watch a movie?"
"Don't you have to go to work tomorrow?" she asked. "It's almost 10."
"I'll take the day off," I said and started to pull her into the living room.
"I made you something else," she whispered, suddenly looking nervous.
I stared. "Really?"
She nodded and led me up the stairs to her bedroom. She walked in and I closed the door behind me. She crossed to her desk and handed me a small box.
"It's not much, but I made it myself," she breathed.
I opened it to reveal a simple tie clip made of tin and painted gold. In perfect black strokes were my initials.
"You made this?" I asked and she nodded, biting her lower lip.
"I started making it a few days ago. I used to sell them when we were in the van. This is the best one I've made, though. I know it's tin and really cheap but-"
I kissed her again, putting the box down on the desk top. I had taken her by surprise and accidentally pushed too hard. I put my hands on her lower back to steady her. Lord knows I didn't want to break away from her lips. She ran her hands up my chest and into my hair. She licked my lower lip and our tongues moved together.
We were kissing for several minutes before her hands traveled to my tie and loosened it. She tossed it to the side.
"Deidre," I breathed, pulling back but she kissed me again.
I hesitated; she was leading me to the bed. She pushed me on my back and straddled my hips. She unbuttoned my shirt and kissed my neck. I closed my eyes, letting out a sigh of pleasure. I lost myself in the feeling of her soft lips traveling down to my chest. Her fingers were working on my belt.
"Deidre," I said again.
"Shh," she whispered, kissing my lips. She unzipped my pants. "Please, just let me do this."
"I don't want you to feel like you have to," I murmured and gasped as she took me in her hand. "Y-You don't owe me anything."
"I know," she promised, her lips pressing to my neck lightly.
I leaned my head back, gripping her thighs as she continued to rub me. I stifled my moans, not wanting our moms to hear. She was kissing down my body again and pulled my boxers down. I couldn't stop a low moan from escaping my throat as she ran her tongue down my shaft. I shut my eyes tightly and gripped her shoulders.
I came in her mouth and pulled her up and pushed her on her back. I took her shirt off without waiting.
"Wait, Artemis," she panted.
"No," I said, my voice low. "It's not fair for you to-"
"I don't want you to feel obligated, either. We don't owe each other anything."
I propped myself up on my elbows. "Is it because you don't want me to?" I whispered, looking into her eyes. "Because of the other day?"
She shook her head. "It's not that. Tonight is supposed to be about you."
I kissed her neck. "If that's true, then let me."
"Just don't hurt me," she whispered.
"Never in a million years," I breathed, unhooking her bra.
I tossed it to the floor and kissed her breasts. She moaned quietly as I kissed down her stomach. I ran my hands up and down her sides as I worked down to her hips.
"No," she said, sounding panicked suddenly. "No I can't-"
I kissed her quickly. "Okay." I placed myself between her legs and wrapped one of hers around my waist. "Is this all right?"
"Yes," she said in a small voice.
I pressed against her, glad she was wearing yoga pants. She gasped and arched her back. I kept my hands on her stomach and gave her breasts my full attention. She ran her hands into my hair, moaning quietly. Her hips bucked and her body started to shake.
"Do I need to stop?" I panted.
"No," she said. "No, please don't."
I kissed her neck and ran my hands to her butt. I slid my tongue into her mouth as she pulled me to her as close as she possibly could. I felt her body tense as she moaned quietly into my mouth. Slowly, her body relaxed and I could tell she had reached her climax. She was panting as I put small kissing on her neck.
"I love you," she whispered.
I got off the bed and pulled my pants and boxers back up. I kicked my shoes off and got under the blankets with her. She snuggled up close.
"I love you, too," I whispered in her ear. "And not just for what we did," I added. "It was beautiful, but-"
She laughed. "Stop talking, Artemis, and fall asleep."
I chuckled. "Yes, ma'am."
I closed my eyes and fell asleep with our arms wrapped around each other.
The next day, it had snowed more and we weren't able to leave. We were all gathered in the living room watching more scary movies. Neither of us mentioned what we did last night until about halfway through our marathon. Our mom's were asleep and she sighed.
"Hey, Artemis?" she whispered.
I had my arm around her. "Yes?"
"Last night... I had wanted to wait until we're married. Does... does that make me a slut?"
I chuckled and kissed her. "Not in the least bit."
She cuddled up. "Promise?"
"Well, did you want to do it?"
"The first part," she mumbled, blushing. "I wasn't planning on the second part."
I bit my lip. "Did I go too far? I didn't force myself on you, did I?"
"No, that's not what I mean. I just hadn't expected it. I don't regret it," she said finally and I understood.
I squeezed her. "I don't either, don't worry," I said and she relaxed. "Is that what you're worried about?" She nodded. "Well, don't. Can I tease you?"
She narrowed her eyes at me but she was smiling. "It depends."
I kissed her nose and leaned in to whisper in her ear. "If that's what I can expect, we should get married tomorrow."