His admission of affection, his frankness about the tragic night in Iraq, and even my confession about Amelia did not fully summarize the weekend’s surprises. He stood at the edge of the room wearing casual pants, no shirt revealing yet another delightful view of his muscles, and no beard, which he entirely shaved. I never imagined what he looked like without his whiskers, and now I could barely remember how he looked with them. If his face still remained covered with those soft prickles, I might have been so fully distracted by his beautiful chest, especially now that I could run my fingers all over it untethered, that I might not have ever noticed the stubble.
“Wow.” The word escaped without my consent.
My response obviously met with his approval based on his expression.
“Do you have any eggs?” I tipped my head playfully in reply.
He smiled and asked again. “Are you hungry?”
I shook my head and finally got up from the floor to get a closer look at his new face.
“I never imagined you without your beard. You didn’t get rid of it on my account, did you?”
“Why? Did you like it?”
“Yes, but I like this, too.” No, I loved this.
“It’ll grow back. I always get rid of it at the start of the week.”
“So I get to enjoy both looks throughout the week?”
I may have just admitted that I expected something long-term, even if I only packed for tonight. His proposal sounded longer than just one night, but now that I was here, I wanted to stay as long as possible, and not just because he or his home was so beautiful, but because everything I learned about him made him attractive to me and I wanted to keep learning. “I’m worried you might be stuck with me for a while. Maybe that’s me making random assumptions again.”
“Go with your gut.”
He poured a glass of wine for each of us, provided me with a full tour of the house, and despite its simple outward appearance, it reached out in a variety of directions. As expected up one of the staircases on the right of the fireplace, he did have a spectacular office with a giant picture window that overlooked the ranch land beyond his home and the mountains in the distance. It surprised me a bit that the house included a guest room and I wondered if anyone ever stayed there, but that might be a discussion for another night when I wasn’t so dazzled by the overall splendor.
His wing, the only area to the left of the fireplace, primarily included his bedroom, featuring the décor of a full-scale retreat. Glowing across the room its own fireplace flickered, its flames reflected off the skylights. The bathroom with a walk-in shower including multiple rain features high enough to accommodate his size, and still contained the droplets from its recent use. Its neighboring tub with its own waterfall, likewise could have easily fit his full height. Two closets separated the latrine area, which thankfully featured all of my favorite modern conveniences. I couldn’t imagine he owned enough clothes for two closets, especially since he wore the same red shirt every time he went camping. I considered one might be summer wear and the other winter wear, or maybe business versus casual.