The set up: Sarah is still trying to wrap her mind around the idea that popular school jock Angel Morena has shown interest in her. So his request on this impromptu romantic picnic comes as a huge surprise.
“Come here,” he held out his hand, smiling, “I promise I’ll try to control myself.”
She lay down facing him, propping herself on her elbow and smiled. He rolled off one of his elbows to face her, and took a deep breath.
“Sarah, I hope this doesn’t sound too crazy, but I like you a lot.” He stopped to kiss her fingers. “It’s insane, I just met you but I feel like I could spend every minute with you… if you’d let me.”
Sarah stared, gulping hard. Her heart was swelling by the milliseconds. Was she dreaming? She didn’t want to blink, she was afraid he’d disappear. He didn’t wait for a response. Instead, he went on, staring right at her.
“Last night, you said you didn’t have a boyfriend. I know it’s way too soon for that. You don’t know anything about me. I know I have no right to ask you this, but,” he paused. “You said you’re only gonna be here a short while… so, would it be too much to ask that until then we have an agreement?”
“Agreement?” Sarah had a feeling what he was getting at, but she was done making an ass of herself. She wanted absolute clarity.
He cleared his throat and it was obvious he was uncomfortable. “I mean, would you be okay if we agreed to be exclusive, while you’re here?”
Sarah couldn’t believe it. She stared ahead but not at him, shaking her head subconsciously, trying to take it all in. When she focused back on him his expression had changed. “Is that a no?”
She shook her head even harder. “No.”
Angel sat up quickly. “Are you seeing someone?” His voice was almost a whisper.
Before she could say or do anything stupid again, she sat up to face him and she spoke right in his face “I like you too. I can’t even begin to tell you how much. Last night was the first night I’ve gone out since I’ve been here. It’s been a long time since I laughed that hard.”
Her expression turned more serious. Her next statement was a risk, but one she felt was necessary. “I don’t have a problem with not seeing anyone else Angel, but I know all about you, and your brothers, and your friends. I don’t know if you’ll be able keep up with your end of the bargain. I just don’t want to get hurt.”
She saw Angel’s eyes narrow and his lips press shut. He leaned forward and spoke with a bit of affliction. “You may think you know me but you have no idea. So, I’ll let the assumption slide this time. But if I say I’ll be exclusive, I mean it.”
As much as Sarah wanted to believe him, she was terrified. There’d been so many broken promises in her life, so many let downs. She couldn’t bear another one. He must’ve seen the look on her face.
“Sarah I don’t lie.” He was firm. “You can ask anyone that knows me, if it’s one thing you can count on, it’s my word.”
The stab to her gut was deafening. How could she sit here and be such a hypocrite, when she herself wasn’t exactly being forthcoming? She smiled faintly then decided right then and there she would allow herself to be happy, very happy for the first time in too long. And then she was grinning from ear to ear. “Okay.”
He stared at her blankly. Then, as if it suddenly hit him, his grin matched hers. He put his hand behind her neck, pulling her gently closer to him. He groaned as his lips met hers and then pulled her down again with him.