Chapter 16 - Uncertain Prospect

After a sumptuous dinner at his parent’s home, Daniel drove May and Tessa back to the condo.  It was around 8pm when they entered the penthouse and Tessa got really excited upon seeing Bedina.  May was more than happy to hand the baby over to her nanny.  This was the very first time May had to take care of her infant sister for an entire weekend without the help of the nanny.  May was exhausted and plopped herself unto the sofa.  Daniel put the bags and portable crib down by the hallway to the bedrooms and returned to the living room.

"All done!"  Daniel cheered with a clap of his hands.  "We did it!"

"I couldn't have done this without you!  I have never had her all to myself for more than 10 hours without Bedina."  May smiled appreciatively at Daniel who was approaching.  "Bedina has been so understanding.  She has only asked for hours off and not days."

"Hope this was a nice break for her then!"  Daniel seated himself down in the single arm chair across from her.

May was expecting him to join her on the two-seater sofa and was rather disappointed when he didn’t.  Daniel noticed how her bright smile turned a little dimmer.  As much as he wanted to be next to her, he knew he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from reaching out to her.  "Looks like you are very tired!  Guess it's time I head home!"

But he didn't make an attempt to leave.  He just sat there and looked at her with an unspoken gaze.  May wondered if he was waiting for her to say something.  She didn’t want him to leave.  Though there was another spare bedroom, she knew she couldn't ask him to stay.  Before the moment got awkward, she blabbered.  "Yeah, a hot shower would do us both good after a long day!"

Daniel smirked mischievously.  "A hot shower? Us?"

May caught his teasing innuendo.  "Separately!"  She added.

"Of course!" He acknowledged and mumbled under his breath.  "Regardless, it's still a hot one!"  Pulling himself out of the armchair with a sudden spurt of energy, he stood before May.  "I'd better leave so you can get some rest!"

May gestured for him to pull her up from the sofa and he did so with pretend difficulty.  "You must have gained 20 pounds!  Look how heavy you are now!"

"Am not!"  May snuffed him with a light slap on his chest.  "You are just a weakling!"

They walked to the lobby and waited for the elevator.  Daniel remained quiet and May thought she had offended him by her statement.  So she gave him peck on the cheek when the ding sounded.  "You know I was just kidding, you’re not a weakling!"

He looked at her for a moment.  "Weak only when it comes to resisting you!"

“You’re resisting me?”  May asked innocently.

The elevator door opened and his arms turned uncoordinated as if he wasn't sure what he was supposed to do.  So he ended up extending his arm for a handshake.  Feeling disappointed a second time, she shook his hand awkwardly for she had thought he was about to give her a good-night kiss like he did the last two nights at Gram’s. 

As if he read her mind, he brought her hand to his lips and gave the back of it a peck.  After placing her hand back to her side, he stepped into the elevator chamber and turned around as the doors were closing.  "I'll call you later!"

"Okay!  Goodnight!"  She stood staring at the closed elevator doors.
It was now 20 minutes to midnight and May must have checked her phone at least 20 times to see if there was a missed call or a text message from Daniel.  She was certain he had made it home when the lights in his condo was on when she looked out her bedroom window after her shower at 9:30.  At 11 pm, she was disappointed when all the lights were out and he hadn't called her like he said he would.

His lack of affection during goodbye tonight had caused an emotional rampage in her being.  Now lying in bed, her mind was trying to analyze the five words he said before the elevator doors closed.  What exactly did he mean by 'later'?  She tried to analyze, her brain was telling her to give it up but her heart was yearning to hear his voice. Over the last four nights, they had chatted till the early hours in the morning.  Even when their words were incoherent, either one wanted to call it a night.  When they were at Gram’s, he had called her just to say goodnight shortly after going into their separate rooms.  But tonight, he had not called and she couldn't help feeling insecurity about their relationship.  Finally, at midnight, she told herself this was just a short lived fling with Daniel.  It was easier thought than done, for after she turned off the lights and got into her bed, she went through another hour of cognitive abuse before she finally drifted off to sleep.  Her final verdict was that Daniel would never be interested in her type, but she didn't know what type she was. 

Her cell phone by the bedside table finally rang at 8:30 the next morning and woke her up with a startle.  While stuck in between sleep-land and earth-land, she thought she was hearing the ringtone of the lobby intercom.  But then the ringing was gone and her cell buzzed again.  She did her best to hide her dismay but the caller knew her too well.

"Expecting someone else?"  Emily teased.

"No!"  Her defense spoke first as she got out of bed and opened her door to look down the corridor listening for Bedina's voice that never came.  "I thought someone was calling from the lobby!"  She returned to her room and connected her cell to the Bluetooth speaker and then made her way to the bathroom.   Emily was used to May’s morning routine if her call was the one waking her up from her slumber. 

"I cleared my morning schedule and I want a full account of your weekend!"  Emily wasted no time making her demands.  "And I don't need the part about the car accident, I want to hear all about the smooching moments you had with Daniel!"

With all the insecurities from last night still lingering, May downplayed the weekend.  When she started to wash up, she heard Ethan in the background reminding Emily all the things she had yet to do before the wedding.  May saw as the perfect opportunity to avoid furthering the conversation.  "I don't think you should concern yourself with me when you have gazillion things to do."

"See!  That's where you are wrong!"  Emily insisted with her reasoning.  "I need this sort of thing to distract me from all this wedding stress!  It's like listening to a nice juicy romantic audiobook!"  She laughed at her own description.  "I want all the juicy details!"  Then she started singing one of the song from the movie, Grease.  “Tell me more, tell me more, like did you two kiss?”

Ethan's voice came on and warned Emily that she was not to pry into his younger brother's personal life, he gave an imperative for her to stay away his sex life.  May mused over their bantering as she squeezed toothpaste onto her toothbrush.  Then Emily's voice drifted away and as she bid Ethan goodbye and rushed him out the door.  May chuckled and shook her head as she visualized Emily pushing Ethan out the front door.  Then her voice came back on.  “I think he wants to know too, just indirectly!”

"You can tell Ethan he has nothing to worry about, nothing is going on."  May spoke up from the bathroom.  "Well, at least not with me anyways!  As you know, he has lots of options."

"Oh May, it's only been a few days!"  Emily chirped with confidence.  "Puppy love takes time to manifest itself.  Daniel is still very shy when it comes to women."

May didn't think shyness was the issue between them but she had to shield her heart; especially when it was healing pretty well over the last few months.  "No Emily, I don't think so!"  She finally said.  "I don’t want to be somebody's rebound!"  Then she started brushing her teeth.

"Rebound?"  Emily sounded shock to hear the term.  "I am more concern about him being your rebound versus you being his!"

"Emily, I don't think Daniel is interested in me that way!"  May stopped brushing so she could explain.

"Would you like me to ask him?"  Emily's voice was teasing.

With a toothbrush in her hand and a mouth full of foamy toothpaste, May dashed from the bathroom just to be loud and clear.  "NO! Absolutely NOT!" 

Emily's cackling laughter came through the speakers and filled the room.  May turned around and almost choked from the toothpaste in her mouth when she saw Daniel at the door.  She quickly ran back to the bathroom.  Soon after, Emily's laughter ceased immediately as if she could sense there was another person in her room.

Coming out of her bathroom, May had to make a zip-line to her bedroom door to grab her silky night coat.  She was about to greet Daniel but he gestured her not to.  That was also when Emily’s voice came through again.  "May, is someone there?"

No answer, so Emily tried a different tactic.  "Adam, is that you?  May is Adam taking you out for breakfast again?"  When she got no response from May, she continued.  “Hello May?  Adam?  Helloooo…”

"Who the heck is Adam?!"  Without thinking, Daniel blurted.  May wondered how much of the conversation he heard while she was in the bathroom.  When she saw his haughty eyes on her, she was pretty sure he heard something he didn’t like.

But before May could respond, Emily's voice came through the speakers.  "Oh...did I say Adam?  I meant you, Daniel!"

"Sure you did!"  May rebutted and quickly dashed forward to grab her cell phone and cancel the speaker function.  "Yah right!  Anyways, I'll meet you at the airport at two! ..... Why? ..... No ... why?"

Daniel stood where he was and was able to hear a faint echo of the conversation until May questioned Emily.  She had turned her back to him and covered the phone.  May reluctantly approached him again and handed him her cell.  "She wants to talk to you!" 

He didn’t take it right away because she wouldn't look him in the eyes.  When she finally lifted her gaze to meet his, he could tell she was hiding something from him.  Reluctantly, he took the phone from her.  "What is it, Emily?"

Daniel’s expression looked agitated as he listened.  When May was about to walk away, he grabbed her by the arm and eyed her to stay put.  May tried to listen for Emily’s echo through the conversation, but none came because of the way Daniel was covering the ear piece.  "Fine, I'll try!  Bye!"

He pressed the END button and handed the phone back to her. 

"Try what?"  May asked as she tried to free her wrist from his grip. 

Still holding her firmly, Daniel finally stepped into her room and closed the door behind him.  "You don't get to ask questions until you answer mine!"

Can't Fight This Feeling - Reo Speedwagon