Something deep down relaxed. That was one thing that had swung the pendulum in his favor from the get-go: no matter what he wanted, he was willing to back down and back off if I showed the slightest hesitation. Last night, when I got cold feet in the heat of the moment, he'd given me a few minutes and some breathing room. Didn't push me at all, and in fact let me make the first move to get things started again.
"I'd rather go to sleep frustrated," he'd said, "than try to sleep knowing I'd pushed you into something you weren't ready for." If I was going to have some reckless rebound fun, I could do worse than committing myself to two weeks with someone like him.
I turned my hand over and slid my fingers between his. "I have second thoughts about everything."
He offered a cautious smile. "Okay, but do you still want to go with me? You can always--"
"I do want to go." That was no lie. I didn't doubt for a second that I wanted to. He didn't need to know about my internal debate over whether "want to" outweighed "shouldn't."
"Well, if you decide you're not sure about staying at my place," he said, "it won't hurt my feelings if you want to get a hotel room."
"You trying to kick me out before we even get there?"
Derek chuckled. "Not a chance." His humor faded. "I just don't want you thinking you're obligated to stay with me."
"If I do stay with you, does that mean you're obligated to sleep with me?"
He trailed his fingers along the inside of my wrist. "Trust me," he said, almost whispering, "obligation is a moot point where that is concerned."