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Sam Bell and Alex Ward
***Alex’s Point of View***
I had a really rough few months. Today I found out that my colleague, who is a jerk to me, got a promotion I was working for. One I spent hours upon hours working for and deserved. I’m quite high in my finance company, but I really wanted to move up.
This job consumes my life. I love it, I love working for my company and doing my job, but it still hurts I didn’t get the position. I put in so much time and effort into what I do that my boyfriend dumped me a two months ago. He said I work too much, that I should just marry my job. He also said that’s why he was cheating on me so that was an extra stab to the heart. Maybe he is right. I’m probably just not meant to be with another person.
That’s it. I’ve made up my mind. I’m better off being alone.
Me and my job. That’s what I need to focus on. It’s what I’m good at. It’s what I do.
Thursday came and on my way home I decided to stop at the grocery store, remembering I have nothing at home. I walked down the aisles, getting what I needed and, of course, getting the things I didn’t. Like Oreos. And hot chocolate.
Reaching the aisle with the cereal, I considered the many options. I reached for the Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Then I reached for Cheerios. The box had a lot of Olympians on it, gearing up for next year. Really what I need right now… good looking people, at the best point in their careers. Really a great boost for me.
I turn to put it into my cart when I bump into someone, dropping the cereal box. “Oops, sorry.” I hear a voice say. The tall man who spoke those words was already far away from me. He walked quickly to the end of the aisle and disappeared from my sight before I had time to process.
At least he said sorry, I tell myself. I think nothing of it and continue to the register, ready to get home.
I get to my car and start loading my bags into the trunk. Suddenly, the cart is starting to roll. I try to grab it but it slips through my fingertips. I scramble to catch it when a man appears and stops it. “Here you go.” He says.
“Thank you so much, sir.” I say, looking up to see the handsome stranger. Wait, I think he’s the guy that bumped into me?
“Sorry about bumping into you earlier, I was trying to get out of there quickly.” He says.
“It’s not a problem. It happens.” I reply. He nods his appreciation for me being understanding.
“My name is Sam, by the way.” He says.
“Alex, nice to meet you.” I say as we shake hands.
His light green/blue eyes lock on mine. He gave a small smile. “Let me buy you a cup of coffee, to make up for it.”
“That’s really not necessary.” I say.
“I’d still like to.” He smiles a little more.
I don’t know why, but I give in. “Okay, sure.” I nod.
“Great.” He lets out a deep breath. “I have to go out of town for a few days for work, but I promise I’ll buy you that coffee when I return.” He gives me his number to put into my phone, then proceeds to help me load up my car. “Don’t forget to text me, or else I’ll have no way of reaching you.” He smiles, before walking away towards his car.
The entire ride home I felt my cheeks blush as I thought about the encounter with the very tall, handsome man.
Once I was home and all unloaded, I texted him.
Hey Sam, it’s Alex. All groceries have safely been put away.
Glad to hear it, Alex. Wouldn’t want any evil monster attacking those Cheerios.
He made me smile.
Two days later I was over at my friend Ashley’s house. We ate dinner and decided to watch some television. I had told her about my encounter with Sam. She called him “grocery guy” rather than by his real name.
We sat on her couch as she checked to see what was on. “How about the U.S. Nationals for swimming?” She asked.
“Sounds good to me.” I say. I rather enjoy watching swimming, as well as a lot of sports. “I’m excited for the Olympics next year.” I say.
“Oh, same. Now is a good time to pick my Olympic boyfriend!” She joked.
A few races in and all of sudden a familiar face is on the screen. “What?” I say to myself, not realizing Ashley can hear me.
She laughed. “What is it?” She asks with a laugh.
“That’s him!” I say, pointing to Sam on the screen. He was walking out from behind the walls and his name “Sam Bell” on the screen.
“That’s who?” She asks, confused.
“Sam! Grocery guy!” I say, trying to process it.
“What do you mean?”
“What do you mean, what do I mean?!” I laugh. “He said he had to go away for work! He didn’t say what kind of work!”
“Are you saying you have a date with a hot swimmer?!”
“I don’t know if it’s a date! But I guess I might have a ‘getting coffee’ with a hot swimmer!”
“Holy cow!” Ashley sighed. “Wait let’s listen to what they said about him.”
She rewound a few seconds and we watched him come out and heard the people talk about how he’s breaking records and is gearing up for the Olympics, which he has great chances of going again, and how he’s the first openly bahis firmaları gay U.S swimmer. He has 2 Gold and 3 silver medals, which is insane!
“You think he could introduce me to a friend?” Ashley said.
“Oh my god. I shouldn’t go out with him.”
“EXCUSE me?” Ashley sassed me. “Why not?”
“Because look at him! He needs to be focused on his career. And so do I! It won’t work out well for anyone involved!”
“You don’t know that! You already put so much time into work, those dumbos just don’t realize it! And you deserve to have a social life and to have a real relationship. Let him decide if he wants a relationship before you even deny it.”
“He probably just wants to hook up anyway. And I’m really not interested in that.”
“You don’t know that. Give him a chance first. Please, do not reject a man who looks like that!” She pointed to the screen.
He ended up winning that race. By a lot. Guess he is really good.
The next few days I kept up with his races. It felt weird, as if I were spying on him or something before we even went out.
I held back the urge to text him and congratulate him and wish him good luck. He didn’t tell me what he does and I didn’t know when we met. I don’t want to distract and disturb him.
The day after the final race, I got a text from Sam. ‘Hey. Getting back tonight. Want to grab that coffee tomorrow?’
I smiled at my phone. I typed and retyped my words, the small nerves kicking in. ‘I’d like that. When and where are you thinking?’
The next day I drove to the cute café/bakery I love. I walked in, expecting he’d be late like my ex always was, but he was already seated waiting for me. I was taken aback for a moment. Thankfully, I regained myself quickly as he stood and waved.
He leaned in for a hug. He smells really nice. He pulled my chair out and helped me in. My god, he is really doing all this for me?
“How’s it going?” He asked.
“Good, and you?”
“Good, good.” He smiled.
“How was your work trip?” I asked, seeing if he would rip the band aid off.
“It went well…” he said a little awkward, as if trying to find his words.
“Congratulations on all those wins by the way…” I laughed.
He dropped his head, a little sad I know. “Didn’t think you knew who I was.” He sighed.
“I actually didn’t. I went over to my friends house two days after we met and she put the swimming nationals on and well, then you walked out.”
“Sorry, I should’ve probably told you.”
I shrugged. “It wasn’t necessary. Besides, it’s not like you’re even that good. I mean, I bet I could beat you.” I teased.
His face lightened up. He laughed like a little kid. It was really cute. “I’m not so sure about that. But who knows, maybe you’re half-merman, I don’t know.”
“And it’ll stay that way for a while. Gotta love a mystery…”
“Yeah, sometimes it’s fun. But, I don’t know…” he leaned his elbows on the table, moving closer to me, “I kinda want to know everything about you.” His eyes locked on mine and I felt my heartbeat quicken. “Let’s start with how old you are?”
“28 as well.”
“Birthday?” I asked.
“January 23rd. You?”
“Tell me about your family.” I asked.
“I have an older brother and an older sister. Jack is married with two kids, a girl and a boy. They’re so cute. And Lizzie, she’s engaged, getting married next year. My parents are retired, still live where I grew up, about an hour away. How about you?”
I wasn’t sure how much to tell him. I decided to keep it short and sweet. “Um, my parents died in a car crash when I was 5. I was an only child, well, my mother was pregnant, but only a few months along. I was in foster care until I went to college.”
“I’m… I’m sorry. That must’ve been and must be terrible.”
“It’s okay. Not your fault, I’ve learned to deal with it.”
“I wouldn’t have gone on about my family though.”
“No no no. I saw the light in your eyes when you mentioned them. It’s sweet. Don’t stop. Please.”
He smiled politely, nodding. “What was it like for you?”
“It’s hard for every kid, but I didn’t have the best experience. But I worked hard during high school and I earned a full scholarship to UPenn.”
“That’s impressive. Good for you.”
The rest of the date was amazing. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. And I could tell he actually listened to me when I talked. And, God I loved hearing him talk. About his love for swimming, his family, everything.
We sat there for hours, but it felt like 20 seconds and 20 years at the same time.
He walked me to my car. “I had a really nice time. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.”
“So did I.”
“Can we do it again? Tomorrow?” He asked.
“Yeah, I’d like that.”
“Great, I’ll pick you up at 10?”
“I can meet you there…”
“No, I kinda want to keep it a surprise until the right moment…”
“Oh, you mean when your knife is halfway through my chest kinda surprise?” I joked.
“Well kaçak iddaa I want to at least give you a few seconds to try and run away first.”
“I appreciate that, thanks you.” I laughed. “10 sounds good. I’ll text you my address.”
“See you then.”
At 9:59 my doorbell rang. “Hey, Sam!” I said, opening the door.
“Hey Alex!” He smiled back at me. I forgot how mesmerizing his eyes are. “You ready?”
“Yeah, lets go.” I closed the door behind me. He opened the passenger door of his beautiful black mustang convertible. “How long until I find out where we’re going?” I asked.
He thought for a second, “Hmm, 15-20 minutes until we’re there.”
“Can you tell me what I should expect.”
“Nope. Pretty sure it’ll ruin it for you.”
I laughed. “Fine.”
We had a nice conversation the rest of the drive. He had me close my eyes when we were pulling in. I opened them when he parked, seeing the back of a large building.
“Alright, you’ll know once we get inside.” He said, unbuckling himself. He led the way into an unmarked door. I’m still trying to figure out where we are.
I followed him down a hallway and then a turn. Then I smelled it. He opened the door to reveal the huge, Olympic-sized pool.
“I really need to know if I’m going out with a merman. You did say you could be me.”
“You should take everything I say with a packet of salt.” I responded.
“Too late now.” He grabbed a new Speedo, still in its packing, out of his back pocket, somehow he fit it in there. “Go put this on. Then the race can begin!” He smiled.
“I’m starting to think you have different motives for wanting me to race you…” I teased.
He blushed. “No, I promise that’s not it.” Then worry spread on his face. “Not that I don’t want to not see you in them… I mean…” He blurted. He’s so cute, I couldn’t help but laugh.
“I’m just messing with you… and dang that was fun.”
“Just go change.” He said, snapping into a sassy tone.
After changing in the bathroom, I came back to find him in a Speedo waiting for me. I couldn’t stop my eyes from scanning down his body. The television camera captured a tenth of the insanity that is this man’s body. The best part was his huge grin as he looked at me.
I crossed my hands over my crotch, trying to cover as much of my exposed body as possible. He reached his hand out, wanting me to take it. “Come here.” He said. I stepped forward and took his hand. “We’re gonna get acclimated to the water temperature first. Jump in on three. One…two…three!” We jumped forward, he didn’t let go of my hand as we lowered into the water.
“It’s actually not too bad.” I said.
“Yeah, they keep it a decent temperature. You ready to race?” He smirked.
“Let’s do this!” I said as I climbed out of the pool.
“There and back.”
“How do you normally start on these boards?” I asked.
He stepped on his platform. He taught me where to put my feet and hands and how to angle my back. Then how to move my arms as I jump in.
He counted us off to start the race. I dove in and tried my best to imitate those moves I’ve seen swimmers do underwater. I pushed and pushed, even flipping underwater at the other end. I wasn’t focused on him, rather trying to get there to the end as fast as possible.
Touching the wall I looked to my left and came up. He was there waiting for me. “Not bad, not bad at all.” He said.
“But I didn’t beat you.” I said.
“Nah, but I had plenty of time to notice how good your form is.”
“I did swim for my high school back in the day…” I said.
“That explains it.” He grinned. He rolled over the rope dividing the lanes. “Also, I take it you’re not a merman. A little less excited that you’re only human…”
“Sorry to disappoint…”
“You can make it up to me.” He said, moving a little closer to me.
“How’s that?” I asked… and then our lips pressed against each other’s. His arm wrapped around my back, pulling me closer as his lips fought to taste mine, and mine to taste his.
My whole body tingled as he kissed me. My stomach was doing flips, it felt so good to kiss him.
We broke apart, looking in each other’s eyes. I’m not sure what to do or say. For some reason, my body just acted in its own. I brought my hand to the surface of the water and splashed him. I let out a laugh as I watched him react. “You’re so gonna pay for that!” He said.
I pushed off the wall and swam away as fast as I could, forgetting he’s a professional. He managed to catch up and get in front of me, splashing me over and over again. I dived under and swam around him, attacking him from behind. I was laughing, and it seemed like he was too. He just swam closer to me as I continued splashing water in his direction. He came up front of me and grabbed my face, kissing me. My body gave up all fight of splashing him, only focusing on his lips. Happiness filled my body as he pressed his lips to mine.
The rest of the day was a blur. We got lunch and saw a movie. Then we got dinner. I didn’t want kaçak bahis it to end. Sadly, he dropped me off at home, walking me up to the front door. “I had a lot of fun today.” He grinned.
“So did I, almost too much.” I laughed.
“Gotta push the limits…” his eyes looking into mine sincerely.
“Want to come over for dinner tomorrow night?” I asked.
“Hmmmm…” he jokingly thought. “Will there be brownies?”
“Of course. I’ll even wait to make them so you can lick the leftover brownies.”
“I’ll definitely come, then.” He laughed.
I leaned in to give him a kiss goodnight. “See you tomorrow.” He said.
He texted me when he got home.
Haven’t stopped smiling. I think it’s your fault.
I’ll take that as a good sign.
The weeks went by and we spent more and more time together. When we weren’t together we were usually texting or talking on the phone.
We had several make-out sessions on both of our couches. Every time got hotter and hotter. But we kept ourselves from going too far. Early on we decided to wait awhile until we really know how we feel about each other and our relationship. We also got tested together even though it only confirmed what we both knew, we are perfectly clean (safety is sexy).
For our 3 month anniversary, Sam told me he was planning to cook a special meal. We even decided to spend the night together for the first time. So I packed a bag for the weekend, and headed to his place after finishing work on Friday.
I drove to his place and he opened his front door as I pulled in the driveway. He looked so cute in a a t-shirt and basketball shorts, with a baseball hat on backwards. Normally, I don’t find baseball hats attractive, and he doesn’t wear them often, but when he does it makes me feel things.
“Hey!” He said, all smiles. “Happy three month!” He said, opening my car door for me.
“Happy three month!” I said, kissing him. I opened my trunk to grab my bag but he reached for it first.
“Not a chance am I letting you carry this in!”
“I’m gonna die of weakness if I never have to lift a thing…”
“At least you’ll die being loved.” He blurted.
Wait…? Loved?!! My brain and body went haywire.
He stopped dead in his tracks and turned around. “Uh, well. I guess you just heard that…” he sighed.
“Yeah.” I said, wondering if he actually means it or if it just came out of nowhere. I mean, I think I loved him? No, I know I love him. He makes me smile and laugh and feel good about myself and life.
“Well, I meant it. I feel like I don’t breathe when I’m not with you, like I’m underwater and only come up for air when you’re with me. So yes, I do love you. I am in love with you.”
“That’s so cliché…” I laughed. “And sometimes clichés are perfect and beautiful. I – I’m in love with you. I love you too.”
He dropped the bag and stepped forward, kissing me harder than ever before. It’s a cant-feel-my-legs kinda kiss. His lips pressed against mine, happiness and love fueling us.
“Let’s not give the neighbors a show.” I said.
“Why not? I want to make them all jealous of me.”
“You’re full of it.” I laughed.
“I’m serious. Besides, what neighbors?” He asked, laughing. His house was hidden from the road, his whole property is quite secluded.
“It was just a joke, okay?” I retorted. Then he picked up my bag again, kissed my cheek, and grabbed my hand, leading me inside.
Stepping in, I could immediately smell the warm, autumn candle. It feels so warm and safe in here. My place just feels so cold to me, no matter what I try to do.
Sam went upstairs to put my bags down while I quickly changed into comfortable, non-work clothes. I stood in the kitchen, trying to figure out what he was making.
“What are you making?” I asked when he came in.
“First mignon and baked potatoes, that good?”
“That sounds amazing! What can I do to help?”
“Are you sure you should help? No offense, but we both know you’re not the best chef.”
“I can cut things!” I teased, slashing an imaginary knife.
“How about you peel the potatoes…” he offered.
“Yes, Chef.” I obeyed.
He worked his way around the kitchen like a pro while I struggled to peel the potatoes. We put on music and danced as we made dinner. While he finished up I set the dining room table, jokingly putting the plate settings on opposite ends of the table, nice and far from each other. I lit the candles in the middle before returning to the kitchen, where he was plating. “Perfect timing.” I said.
“I always have perfect timing.” He sassed. Being raised like a gentleman, he took off his hat and tossed it on the counter before eating. We carried out plates into the dining room and he immediately laughed when seeing how far I set us apart.
“How am I supposed to sneak my hand on your knee and under those shorts from 10 feet away?” He whispered in my ear.
“You’re creative.” I rebutted.
“Since my creativity is failing me right now, I’ll just use what always works: simple force.” He said, sliding his place mat over to the other side. Sitting down, he dramatically sighed. “Much better.” He said, pinching my cheek like a grandmother.
“You’re so annoying!” I laughed.
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