"Nah, I'm just nudging your balls," she chuckled, sipping her beer. "So I guess this answers some of my question from earlier, though. You eat Chinese to forget about work. Good to know."
"I eat Chinese because it tastes good!" he countered with a chuckle. "Even though it's not very good for you. Everyone has their vices, I guess," he said with a shrug.
"A little of what you fancy does you good, as my father used to say," she agreed warmly. Despite the smile, though, her concern was clear as she next spoke. "So why did you need company tonight? Is something bothering you?"
He furrowed his brows at her question. There were so many different way to answer it. "Maybe I just wasn't ready for our date to end yet," he confessed, which was at least partially true.
She smiled, letting him have that one. "Well, I'm flattered," she assured him, reaching over to steal a dumpling from his carton. "Even if you are terrible at looking after yourself. I feel like I need to put alarms on my phone to text you reminders to eat lunch and dinner."
He chuckled again. "It's been a long time since anyone looked after me," he admitted, almost immediately wishing he hadn't. His past was no big secret. If she did her research, she could figure it out for herself, but he wasn't one to talk about it very often, if ever.
"You and me both." She shook her head, her smile just a little sad but not forced. "Adulting sucks when you're on your own. But hey, you are now in my bubble, and I may never let you leave, so get comfortable, my dude."
"We all have to grow up sometime, Holli," he agreed. No one could stay a child forever. He chuckled at something else she said. "Your dude?" he echoed, looking amused. "Be careful or I might take you up on that."
"Honey, we met this morning, you're in my house past midnight, and I'm not wearing a bra," she pointed out teasingly. "You already took me up on it, you're stuck now."
"You're not wearing much of anything," he pointed out, with a quick and appreciative glance at her attire.
"Ever think you might be overdressed for the company you're keeping?" she countered laughingly, taking another sip of her beer. "Hey, are you working tomorrow? Or are you always on call, kind of thing?"
He chuckled again. "Would you feel better if I stripped down to my underwear?" Once again, it was unclear if he was just kidding. "I have a flexible schedule," he added, answering her question.
"Fair enough. I guess sometimes I'm lucky to have a nine-to-five, even if it's sometimes a nine-to-eight." She chuckled once again, the sound warm and easy in the little kitchen.
He noticed how she ignored his question, but said nothing about it. Instead, he set the mostly empty box of takeout on the table and gestured toward the fortune cookies. "Pick one."
Her personal opinion on his being overdressed might have been a little much, so she had just side-stepped the idea. Grinning, she dropped her foot to the floor, leaning forward to select a fortune cookie. "And you get the one I picked?"
"If that's how you want to do this, sure," he said. Was he always this easy-going? Then again, it was just a fortune cookie.
"Makes it more random," she laughed, handing him the one she had chosen before picking up the other to break it open, carefully drawing the little paper from within. Her lips curved into a wry smile as she read it aloud. "The greatest risk is not taking one."
"Hmm, wise," he murmured regarding her fortune before breaking open the cookie she'd chosen for him. He paused a moment to read before sharing what it said. "Nothing in the world is accomplished without passion."
"The cookies have spoken," Holli intoned. "Let's have sex." She winked at him, cackling at her own joke as she bit into her cookie.
He blinked, as her suggestion took him a little by surprise. Then again, she was a tempting sight, sitting there in her pajamas, but he wasn't the type of guy who would take advantage of a woman. "I'll pretend I didn't hear that," he said, trying to exorcise the thought from his head.
She laughed. "I wouldn't joke about it if I didn't feel safe around you," she assured him. "Definitely wouldn't joke about it if I wasn't already planning to seduce you."
He smiled, though he was feeling a little conflicted. Or maybe she was just confusing him. "I can't tell if you're joking or serious," he admitted.
She considered him for a long moment. Then, in one smooth motion, she leaned forward, curling her hand to the back of his head and pulling him toward her, lips covering his in a kiss that both answered his question and somehow left it up to him. It was soft and inviting, eager without demanding, and it ended far too soon as she drew back to her own seat once again. "Does that help?"
He didn't bother to resist because why would he want to? She was a beautiful woman who clearly wanted him. No man in his right mind would resist that, but was the spark he was feeling between them real or was he just imagining it? "What happens in the morning?" he asked, staying right where he was, close enough to kiss her again, if he wanted to.
"That sounds like a plan," she agreed. She wasn't going to push it; everyone had boundaries, after all. She was just making her interest clear, that was all.
"No, Holli ..." He said, as she seemed to misunderstand him. "I mean, if we sleep together tonight, what happens in the morning?" Will they regret it? Will she regret it?
"Oh." She laughed at her own misunderstanding. "Sorry, I totally fudged that. I, uh ... I'm not a one-night stand kind of person. The invitation is there, if you want it, but if you take it, I'm gonna want to explore where it goes. Full disclosure."
"Holli, I wouldn't have asked you to dinner if I didn't feel an attraction. It wasn't just about spilling your coffee," he assured her. He paused a moment as he seemed to consider something. "Do you believe in fate?"
"I don't know," she said thoughtfully. "But I do believe some people are meant to meet. I think what they do with it from there is up to them."