Home > All Your Perfects(16)

All Your Perfects(16)
Author: Colleen Hoover

He swings open the door and walks out into the hallway. He walks past Graham, shoving him with his shoulder. Graham just stands silent, staring at the floor.

I feel terrible. But if it hadn’t happened this way, I would have shot him down on his way out of my apartment later. Rejection sucks, no matter how it’s presented.

The door to the stairwell slams shut and neither of us speak as we listen to Jason’s footsteps fade down the stairs. When all is quiet, Graham finally lifts his head and makes eye contact with me. “You still need that fifteen minutes?”

I shake my head. “Nope.”

Graham walks toward me as I step back into my apartment. I hold the door open for him, certain that he won’t be leaving here as quickly as he did last time. Once he’s inside, I close the door and then turn around. Graham is smiling, looking at the wall beside my head. I follow his line of sight to the Post-it he left six months ago.

“It’s still here.”

I smile sheepishly. “I would have called you eventually. Maybe.”

Graham pulls down the sticky note and folds it in half, sliding it into his pocket. “You won’t be needing it after tonight. I’ll make sure you have my number memorized before I leave here tomorrow.”

“That confident you’re staying over?”

Graham takes an assured step closer. He places a hand against the door beside my head, forcing my back against the door. It isn’t until he does this that I realize why I find him so attractive.

It’s because he makes me feel attractive. The way he looks at me. The way he talks to me. I’m not sure anyone has ever made me feel as beautiful as he makes me feel when he looks at me. Like it’s taking everything in him to keep his mouth away from mine. His eyes fall to my lips. He leans in so close, I can smell the flavor of gum he’s chewing. Spearmint.

I want him to kiss me. I want him to kiss me even more than I wanted Jason to stop kissing me. And that was a lot. But I feel like whatever is about to start with me and Graham, it needs to start with complete transparency. “I kissed Jason. Earlier. Before you got here.”

My comment doesn’t seem to dismay him. “I figured as much.”

I put my hands on his chest. “I just . . . I want to kiss you, too. But it’s weird because I just kissed someone else. I’d like to brush my teeth first.”

Graham laughs. I love his laugh. He leans in and presses his forehead to the side of my head, causing my knees to lock. His lips are right over my ear when he whispers. “Hurry. Please.”

I slip around him and rush to my bathroom. I pull open the drawer and grab my toothbrush and toothpaste like I’m racing against time. My hands are shaking as I squeeze the toothpaste onto my toothbrush. I turn on the water and start brushing my teeth furiously. I’m brushing my tongue when I look in the mirror and see Graham walk into the bathroom behind me. I laugh at how ridiculous this is.

I haven’t kissed a guy in six months. Now I’m brushing away the germs of one guy while the next one waits in line.

Graham seems to be enjoying the ridiculousness of this moment just as much as I am. He’s now leaning against the sink next to me, watching as I spit toothpaste into the sink. I rinse my toothbrush and then toss it aside, grabbing an empty glass. I fill it with water and take a sip, swishing the water around in my mouth until I’m certain my mouth is as clean as it’s going to get. I spit the water out and take another sip. This time I just swallow the water, though, because Graham takes the cup from me and sets it near the sink. He pulls the piece of gum out of his mouth, tossing it in the trash can, then he slides his other hand around my head and doesn’t even ask if I’m ready yet. He brings his mouth to mine, assured and eager, like the last sixty seconds of preparation have been pure torture. The moment our lips touch, it’s as if an ember that’s been slow-burning for six long months finally bursts into flames.

He doesn’t even bother with an introductory, slow kiss. His tongue is in my mouth like he’s been there many times before and knows exactly what to do. He turns me until my back is against the sink and then he lifts me, setting me down on my bathroom counter. He settles himself between my legs, grabbing my ass with both hands, pulling me against him. I wrap my arms around him, lock my legs around him. I try to convince myself I did not go my whole life never realizing this kind of kiss existed.

The way his lips move against mine makes me question the skills of every guy that came before him.

He starts to ease the pressure and I catch myself pulling him against me, not wanting him to stop. But he does. Slowly. He gives me a small peck on the corner of my mouth before pulling back.

“Wow,” I whisper. I open my eyes and he’s staring at me. But he’s not looking at me in awe like I’m looking at him. There’s a very noticeable dejected look on his face.

He shakes his head slowly, his eyes narrowing. “I can’t believe you never called me. We could have been kissing like this for months.”

His comment throws me off. So much so, I stumble over my words when I attempt a response. “I just . . . I guess I thought being around you would remind me of Ethan too much. Of everything that happened that night.”

He nods like he understands. “How many times have you thought of Ethan since seeing me at the restaurant tonight?”

“Once,” I say. “Just now.”

“Good. Because I’m not Ethan.” He lifts me, carrying me to the bed. He lays me down and then he backs away, pulling off his shirt. I’m not sure I’ve ever touched skin that smooth and tight and beautiful and tanned. Graham without a shirt is near perfection.

“I like your . . .” I point at his chest and make a circular motion with my finger. “Your body. It’s very nice.”

He laughs, pressing a knee into the mattress. He lies down next to me. “Thank you,” he says. “But you can’t have this body right now.” He adjusts the pillow beneath his head, getting comfortable. I lift up onto my elbow and scowl at him.

“Why not?”

“What’s the rush? I’ll be here all night.”

Surely he’s kidding. Especially after that kiss. “Well, what are we supposed to do while we wait? Talk?”

He laughs. “You sound like conversation with me is the worst idea in the world.”

“If we talk too much before we have sex, I might find out things I don’t like about you. Then the sex won’t be as fun.”

He reaches up and tucks my hair behind my ear with a grin. “Or . . . you might find out we’re soul mates and the sex will be mind-blowing.”

He has a point.

I fold my arms over my pillow and lay my head on them as I roll onto my stomach. “We better get to talking, then. You go first.”

Graham runs his hand over my arm. He traces the scar on my elbow. “Where’d you get this scar?”

“My older sister and I were racing through the house when I was fourteen. I didn’t know the sliding glass door was shut and I ran through it. Shattered the glass and cut myself in like ten different places. That’s the only scar, though.”

“Damn.”

“You have any scars?”

Graham lifts up a little and points to a spot on his collarbone. There’s about a four-inch scar that looks like it must have been pretty bad at the time of the injury. “Car wreck.” He scoots closer to me and wraps his leg over both of mine. “What’s your favorite movie?”

“Anything by the Coen brothers. My favorite is Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

He looks at me like maybe he has no clue what movie I’m talking about. But then he says, “We thought . . . you was . . . a toad.”

I laugh. “Damn! We’re in a tight spot!”

“Jesus Saves, George Nelson withdraws!” We’re both laughing now. My laughter ends with a sigh, and then Graham smiles at me appreciatively. “See? We like the same movie. Our sex is going to be amazing.”

I grin. “Next question.”

“Name something you hate.”

“Infidelity and most vegetables.”

Graham laughs. “Do you live off chicken nuggets and French fries?”

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