The train was relatively crowded. Apparently, they weren’t the only ones who’d thought of going downtown for an evening out. They got off at the Aquarium station and went to visit the harbor seals in their outdoor tank before dinner. Two of the seals swam up to the glass and regarded them solemnly. “They’re so cute!” Courtney exclaimed.
She sounded so excited, Tanner couldn’t help beaming at her. Her happiness was contagious. He didn’t bother trying to remember the last time he’d felt this way. Nothing before Courtney mattered tonight. “Yes, they are,” he agreed. “They’re fun to watch, too, but I’m kind of hungry. Maybe we can come back here after we eat.”
“Good idea.” Her stomach growled audibly and she giggled.
They headed around the corner to Legal Seafood. As they ate their meal, Courtney casually suggested, “Do you want to see a movie? We could rent something and watch it at my place.”
“Or we could skip the movie and do something else at your place.” Tanner winked. “Whatever you’re comfortable with, kiddo. I think we both know where we want things to go tonight, right?”
She looked at the table and fiddled with her fork. “Yeah. I think we do.”
“Hey, look at me,” he said gently. He waited until her eyes met his and said, “Honey, if it happens, it happens. I want to make love to you. But if it doesn’t happen tonight, we’ll have plenty of time, okay?”
“Sounds like we’re a couple,” she said tentatively.
He took her hand across the table. “Sounds like we are. Ready to hit the road?”
“Yeah,” she said with a smile.
Hand in hand, they went back to Aquarium Station and got on the train. Butterflies duked it out in Tanner’s gut. He wanted her so badly he was afraid he’d move too fast and fuck it all up. She was so sweet, innocent in some ways. He was damned if he’d mess things up with her. Even if that meant going home with nothing but a kiss.
Then again, after what they’d done at his place before Gavin walked in, he doubted the night would stop with a kiss.
When they got off the train at OrientHeights, Courtney led him to a nearby movie rental store. Her face was flushed, and she jabbered on at ninety miles an hour about the movies they looked at. He finally put his hand on her mouth. “Kiddo, it’s fine,” he said. “Nothing to be nervous about.” If only he believed that himself. “We don’t have to get a movie. Maybe there’s something good on TV.”
“Yeah.” She rubbed her face. “Yeah. If we stay here, we might never actually get back to my place. Sorry. I know you’ve been there before, but this is…”
“Different,” he filled in. “I know. It’s okay, but let’s go, all right? Whatever happens, happens.”
She took a deep breath. “Yeah. Let’s go.”