The Last Chance(2015)

Chapter Nine

 

The kiss started out gentle, but didn’t stay that way for long. Brian’s hands went to Anna’s back and pulled her closer. Anna hands went around his neck, playing with the soft ends of his soft short hair.

Brian’s lips felt firm against her mouth. He moved them expertly. His tongue touched her lips. Anna’s mouth parted under his as she was quickly reminded of what he’d done to her with that tongue just over an hour ago.

Once her lips were parted, Brian went in. His mouth prowled over hers, seeming to search for something. His tongue touched hers. Anna’s knees went weak. If Brian’s hands hadn’t been holding her to him, she might have fallen.

The warmth from his mouth began to spread down her body, pulse through her veins. Anna’s senses seemed to heightened. The feel of his hands as they slid under her shirt, touching her bare flesh. The smell of his aftershave mixed with something that was all him. The taste of his mouth.

The alarm of the black car next to them went off. They both jumped and looked around. They must have been putting on a show for someone.

Brian smiled. He took Anna’s hand and began to walk her further down the block, he was pulling her towards the city lights. “What do you want to do?” It was the same question as before. Brian seemed to be in a better mood.

“I don’t care.” Anna was too.

She looked down at her watch. It was eleven. She had four hours left. She hurried up and came to walk beside him. Her arm went around his waist. His arm held her by his shoulders. They seemed like a normal couple going for a midnight stroll. This was what Anna wanted. Being held at Brian’s side, she felt like he belonged to her, and perhaps, he felt the same way about her. They walked silently until the reached the edge of Boylston Street. They were now minutes away from a variety of clubs, bars, and theaters.

The night was a buzz with activity. Natives and tourist had been drawn to the lights like flies. Anna recognized a few people from her class. They waved, not truly recognizing her until they saw Brian. Anna waved back anyway. Yes, she was that Anna. Brian’s friend, Anna. Story of her four years in college. 

“Are you hungry?” Brian leaned over and placed a kiss in her hair.

Anna held him tighter. She didn’t want this night to end. “I could eat.”

Brian started to walk again, taking her further into the sounds and sights of Boston nightlife. They ended up at a bar was known for their burgers. Anna loved a good burger. The establishment was old irish, had the Boston traditional brick exterior, and an dark green awnings over the glass windows that wrapped around the exposed sides of the building.

They had outdoor seating, but in this nice weather, it would be hard to find any open. Brian and Anna decided to go inside, though the place looked to be just as packed inside. The lights inside were dim. Rock music played at an entertaining level. Not too loud, but not very quiet either. They were only at the hostess desk for a second before being ushered to a booth in the back. All the tables were made from a wood of a rich oak. The seats were a dark green with a red stripe going down the middle. The back of the booths were tall enough to give each table a sense of privacy even though they were in a crowded place.

Brian sat across from Anna and Anna tried to hide the disappointment from her face. She failed. He smiled, got up, and came to sit next to her. They huddled together over the menu and ordered drinks quickly.

Anna looked over at him and couldn’t help the happiness from shining on her face. Brian took his eyes off the menu and looked at her. He was smiling as well. It was one of his crooked ones. It had that pull to the left side of his face that made him equally adorable and sexy at that same time. He didn’t have to ask why she was smiling. He already knew. Whatever was happening between them was something they’ve both wanted for some time. Anna was curious though. Just how long had Brian been waiting for this?

She narrowed her eyes at him. “When did you decide you wanted to ask me out?”

Brian looked away momentarily. Anna was nervous that he’d pull down his mask again, but when his eyes returned, they were still honest, open. “Since that day I asked you for help with my part of our project and you refused.”

Anna narrowed her moon colored eyes. “You didn’t ask me for help. You asked me to do it for you and I said no.” It had been sophmore year. They were in a software construction class. For Anna, it seemed so far way. Nine years ago. He’d liked her almost as long as she’d liked him? “It was ridiculous of you think that I would do your portion of the work..”

Brian smile slipped a little. He was staring at her mouth. “You’d be surprised what a woman who likes me would be willing to do.”

Anna’s smile left. “No, I wouldn’t.” A warmth that had nothing to do with their attraction forced it way into her. Anger. And Anna wasn’t angry that Brian had used his good looks to get people to do his bidding. She was upset because he’d tried to use her feeling against her. Brain had just confessed that he’d known how she felt when they’d been sophomores. All these years and he’d said nothing.

Brian’s eyes lifted towards hers. His face was so close to hers. “You turning me down was the best thing anyone had ever done for me.”

Anna narrowed her eyes further. “I don’t understand.”

His hands touched her face. “You’re so real, Anna. You’re so honest to yourself and to me. You don’t let me run all over you. You tell me the truth. I love that about you.” Brian’s hands slipped into her hair. “I love everything about you.”

Anna didn’t know what to say. She didn’t feel like she’d been honest to herself. Well, maybe honest wasn’t the right word. What Anna felt was that she’d let herself down. She should have said something about her feeling. She knew it was futile to worry about it now, especially with the second chance she’d been given, but a part of her still wanted to cry.  Anna placed her hands on the ones that cradled her face. “If you knew I liked you and you like me, why didn’t you say anything?”

Brian brought her head to his. Their foreheads rested together. He closed his eyes. “You were so different than other girls. You wouldn’t let me just win at any games. You kicked my butt in the classroom. You made me earn everything. You challenged me. I didn’t want to ruin you.”

Anna pulled back. She tried to not laugh. “Brian, you wouldn’t have ruined me. This is who I am. I don’t change. I wouldn’t change. Not even for you.”

Brian smiled. “Yeah, but I’ve changed because of you. You make me better, Anna.”

Anna brought her forehead back to his. The anger was gone. Oh, how she loved this man. “I still wished you’d said something.”

Brian dropped his hands and pulled a little away from her then. He was smiling as he turned away from her. He leaned his head back against the back of the booth. The dim light overhead highlighted his dark hair and high cheek muscles. He was so handsome. “You’re kind of intimidating, Anna.”

Anna’s head reeled back. That was the last thing she ever thought she’d hear from him. “You’re intimidated by me?”

Brian’s head turned sideway just so he could look over at her, but he kept his head rested on the the wooden wall behind him. He sighed. “I knew you were attracted to me, but I didn’t know how much you really like me. Not until Whitney told me.”

Anna’s face fell. She was going to hurt that girl. Not in this time, but when Anna got back to the present. Brian must have seen the plans being made on her face. A finger came up and swiped the top of her nose. “Don’t be mad at Whitney. She just told me this morning.”

That shocked Anna further. “I don’t understand.”

Brian turned his head forward then, staring at nothing in particular. “I got a job offer in Japan this morning.”

The room swayed. Anna wasn’t sure if she could manage to anymore shocking revelations. Japan? “You never told me about Japan.” Anna shut her mouth quickly. She’d almost revealed that she’d known Brian for eleven years. That would have made things awkward. Either she’d had then tried to explain the time travelling or she’d come off sounding like some type of stalker that had been watching him from a distance since he was a kid. Neither one of those options sounded good.

“I just got the call today. The company was congratulating me on graduating and asked if they could send me an offer letter.”

Anna grew nervous. She hoped she hadn’t changed the future for the worst. “What did you tell them?”

“I told them that I’d call them back.” Brian looked at her again. “Once I hung up, I ran into Chuck’s room and just started to talk. He thought I should take it, but then I brought you up. I didn’t realize anyone else was in the room until I saw Whitney come out of Chuck’s bathroom. That’s when she told me.”

Anna shook her head. Whitney had told Brian about her feelings in an effort to stop Brian from leaving the country. If the roles had been reversed, Anna would have done the same thing for her. Whitney was such a good friend. Anna loved that girl. She’d buy her gift when she got back to the present.

But it still didn’t make any sense that this was Anna’s first time hearing about Japan. If anyone had asked her ten hours ago if she and Brian were friends, she would have told them that they were best friends. Anna had thought them pretty close, but so many secrets were being uncovered. She wanted to talk about Japan, but didn’t know how. How could she say, ‘Even though we never dated, you never took the job in Japan. Why?’, without actually saying that. “Are you going to take the job?” It was the best question she had.

Brian shook his head. “No. I’d only applied, because I thought I wanted to get away from my dad, but moving to the other side of the world isn’t worth it anymore.”

“Because we kissed?” Anna had to know.

Brian shook his head again. “I’d like to say that was the reason, but it’s not. Even if you’d turned me down tonight, I couldn’t have left.”

“Why?”

He held her eyes. “Because I rather have you in my life as a friend than to not have you in it at all.”

And at the moment, Anna knew that she would never love anyone more than she loved Brian. Her heart beat solely for him. That once confession was worth the entire trip. She’d wanted to say, ‘Ditto’, but it didn’t seem to fit the mood. Words, at times, failed her. It was why she always elected to stay in the shadows of social events.

But right now, Anna didn’t need words. She simply needed to be with Brian.

Their food came.

Neither of them touched it. They were no longer hungry.

“Can we get these to go?” Brian asked the server.

Three minutes later, hand in hand, they were out the door.