It was 9PM when she got dropped off from drinks with a friend. Still tipsy she entered her apartment as her phone went off.
"What are you up to?" text from JJ. "Nothing just got home from a couple of drinks."
"Want to go to a house party? I'm just getting out of the show and they are all going." He asked.
"Ummmm, well I'm still a little drunk so you'd have to come pick me up." She said, figuring that would be the end of it, and she sat down on her couch.
"I'll be there in five."
She brushed her teeth and came downstairs. As she walked out the front door and looked for him, she spotted him outside of his car on his phone. He looked up and smiled his adorable schoolboy grin and opened the door for her. She made a comment that she knew how to get into a car and he stopped her saying that it was the gentlemanly thing to do.
He promised a friend fries so they went to a drive through that took a long time to get through. While they were waiting he brought up how he didn't like the fact that he was talked about as being a fuckboy on her podcast, anonymously of course.
"Explain it to me. How are you not a player, a Casanova?" She smirked at him.
"I enjoy the company of people, in general. I think they are interesting, and I like getting to know them. Women just aren't used to being treated right."
"You can say that again. There's a whole stand-up about it. I'm not used to it at all. There's a thin line between being yourself, your own person, not needing anyone else...and letting someone do things for you."
"Just accept it. You deserve to be treated well...just let it happen."
Still, in her mind, she resisted. She could hold doors for herself. Getting her own drink was fine. And yet, her main love language was and is Acts of Service...why wouldn't she let herself accept the love she should feel she deserved?
When they arrived at the party she got up to get a drink and JJ stopped her and asked what she wanted. She said that she just wanted some water but she could get it herself. He said he was getting it, and they both said at the exact same time: "We just talked about this."
She sighed and sat down, allowing him to grab her cup of water with tons of ice. It was going to be a hard road to just let him be a gentleman.
She managed to let it ride the whole night. He got her water, flitted around talking to everyone but always came back to her. She was on her phone and he asked who she was talking to, and she said Banana was out downtown with some of her drunk high school friends.
"We could go there."
So they said goodbye to all the remaining people and got back into his truck. Making their way back downtown, they talked more about him not wanting to ever be tied down to one person, actually be in a relationship. He said he'd never want to be in one, and sex just wasn't all that important to him. She smiled as Mel had told her a slightly different version of the story, but she firmly put it into the "not her business" category in her mind.
They got to the bar and realized Banana's friends were beyond wasted. She was trying to get them all to go to the next bar, but it was like herding cats. She and JJ followed them around for awhile, holding hands and he made fun of her hand holding. "You don't interlace the fingers, you hold hands like mittens? My thumb goes on top!" She laughed and they walked until they had round up all of Banana's friends and moved to the next spot.
They spent some time with Banana at the bar, until one of her friends made an insensitive joke. JJ took a minute and stepped outside because he was angry at the joke. She brushed it off because not only was the joke not funny, but he was too drunk to know what he was talking about. JJ came back in and ordered a water, drained it quickly, and then put his hand on her knee. He played with the fabric on her dress until he had moved it aside and caressed her bare knee. Suddenly, he squeezed it playfully to get her attention.
"Ready to go?"
It was around 3:45 in the morning, so she figured it was time. They had raged hard enough, even though she felt perfectly sober.
He held open the door of his truck for her, and they breezed along the half mile to her apartment. He hopped out of the car, opened her door for her, and grabbed her hand again as he walked her to the front door of the building.
He reached out and kissed her, and they made out for a little while. She was glad to have the redemption of another round of kissing where she wasn't sloppy drunk, but she found his kisses to be...not as bold as she would've liked. Still, it was pleasant to have a guy who wanted to kiss her, even if it wasn't ever going to go anywhere.
She was smiling as she went upstairs, got on her PJs, and put her head hit the pillow.
Then her phone rang. It was the intercom system for the building.
It was 5AM.
She hesitated, then answered.