Warning: This chapter contains sim nudity.
“Do you want me to be a good friend, or do you want me to be excited for you?”
“I just want to know what you think.”
It was a Saturday morning, the day after my day with Ren, and I was hanging out with Julie at the park. Ian had to work that day, but Julie had insisted that I tell her all about last night.
“You want to know what I think?” she repeated incredulously. “Well, here it is: I think you should get your head out of the clouds and forget about this guy.”
“What? Why?” I was surprised by the harshness of her reaction – I had expected her to at least be happy for me after the date had gone so well.
“Nic, he’s obviously no good. Think about it,” she added quickly before I could interrupt, “he ignores you for weeks after asking for your number, then all of a sudden he asks you on a fancy date, sweeps you off your feet, and before you know it he’s shoving his tongue down your throat. Did he even ask you anything about yourself?”
“He asked me about myself…”
“Yeah, but I mean did he ask anything meaningful, was he actually interested in you as a person?”
“I…” Should it have been obvious? It was only the first date, after all.
“I…” Something about the way she was addressing the issue made me feel like an idiot. I felt the need to defend my decisions somehow. “I- Of course he was! He was a real gentleman, he was looking at my face the whole time and he never did anything I didn’t want him to…”
Julie sighed. “I’m not your mum, Nic, I don’t want you to feel accountable to me in every aspect of your love life. I just don’t want to see you get hurt, is all.”
I wouldn’t. I wasn’t stupid, I reminded myself. I was certain I had things under control.
Over the next few months, Ren kept his promise and we continued to go on dates together whenever he wasn’t busy with work. We usually went to nightclubs and bars, where we had access to every exclusive VIP area.
I managed to ignore Julie’s well-meant warnings completely, as Ren consistently proved himself to be a great guy… at least as far as my limited experience went. I was happy with him, and even though he occasionally did things I wasn’t really comfortable with, he almost always apologised straight away.
He was the most romantic guy I had ever met – he took me out on fantastic dates, and brought me bouquets of roses every time we saw each other.
And boy, could he kiss! At the same time as I loved being with Ren, I couldn’t deny that I enjoyed the celebrity attention we attracted everywhere we went.
I was almost surprised by how quickly I fell for him. He was so handsome and romantic, I felt that he was everything I could possibly want. I knew that soon, I would be ready to take it all the way.
So when he asked me to come back to his house one night after our date, I was only too happy to agree.
We spent several hours before we went inside just chilling in his hot tub on the deck, which had a stunning view of the city of Bridgeport on the other side of the harbour. Not that I was paying as much attention to the view as I would otherwise have been – I was too busy focusing on the man sitting next to me. Almost naked, I might add. The thought made me blush, and I was glad of the steam surrounding both of us so that he couldn’t see it too clearly.
“Nicole…” I jumped slightly as he said my name.
“I…” I had never seen Ren lost for words like this, but I knew what he meant by the look in his eyes. Not trusting my voice at that moment, I smiled and nodded to let him know it was okay. He sighed, clearly relieved.
And then he kissed me, and I forgot everything else.
I don’t recall quite how we managed to get out of the hot tub and into his bed… I was too wrapped up in kissing him to care about anything else. But once we were there, I felt that this was where I belonged: in his bed, in his arms. I was safe here.
But as I lay under him, bare and vulnerable, a flash of doubt shot through my mind. Had I forgotten something? Was this really what I wanted? Was I ready for this?
I looked up into his eyes, searching for an answer, for confirmation of some sort. He smiled at me.
“You’re beautiful, Nicole,” he murmured, and that was all I needed.
I never regretted that night.
Even though – or rather, looking back, mainly because – a month later I discovered I was pregnant.