The Dumbing Down of Love

The Dumbing Down of Love: Day Fourteen

The Dumbing Down of Love
(720 Hours in a Relationship)


     Opening her eyes, Olivia stared at Gray who was sound asleep next to her. He was on his back with his hand resting on his chest. She had found herself up once or twice expecting everything that had happened the night before to be a dream.
     “Are you staring at me?” Gray asked but not moving.
     “I am,” she answered, feeling herself redden for getting caught.
     “Is this how it’s going to be?” he asked, rolling over onto his side and looking at her. “You staring longingly at my overly handsome face every morning?”
     “I don’t know about overly handsome,” she said with a smile.
     Sliding his arms around her, he pulled her closer to him and kissed her bare shoulder. “We’re never going to get anymore sleep are we?” he asked, kissing her shoulder again.
     “Between the staring and the bedroom fun, probably not,” she answered, kissing his chin. “We’re probably going to have designate no see nights.”
     “You mean no fun nights.”
     Feeling herself smile, buried her face in Gray’s chest.
     “Did that embarrass you?” he asked.
     “A little,” she answered, kissing his chest, “but I’ll live. I’m sure there were more embarrassing things that happened last night.”
     Running his fingers lightly down her arm, Gray watched as her skin became excited by his touch. When she shivered in his arms, he pulled her closer and continued to run his fingers lightly over the bare parts of her body. “Like what?” he asked.
     Looking at him, she shook her head. “Nothing I can think of at this moment,” she said. “It might not have been anything either of us planned, but it was perfect for me.”
     “Me too,” Gray replied, moving to kiss her. He wanted to do nothing more than stay in bed with Olivia for the rest of the day and discover what made her happy. “Do you think we can stay in bed for the rest of the day?” he asked.
     “If you’re not going to get in trouble with the boss, then I think we can.”
     “I am the boss.”
     Pushing herself into the bed and away from Gray, Olivia stared at him. “Really?”
     Gray nodded and kissed her neck. “For real. I started the business after college and hired Chris to be my right hand man.”
     “And now I’ve come between you?” Olivia asked as she stared at the ceiling.
     Propping himself up on his elbow, he looked at her. “You didn’t come between us. He came between us.”
     “Forgive him.”
     “I don’t know if I can,” Gray admitted. “He knew how I felt about you.”
     “Forgive him. For me.”
     “What did he say to you?”
     Shaking her head, Olivia sighed. “I told him I wouldn’t repeat it, and I keep my word.”
     “He went behind my back when he should have just came to me to talk about whatever it is he said to you.”
     Putting her hand on his face, Olivia flashed a smile at him. “I know and I think he now knows, but just know whatever he said to me was said out of protecting someone he respects and loves.”
     Taking her hand from his face, Gray kissed the center of her palm and then held her hand. “He almost fucked this up. I really don’t know if I can forgive him.”
     “But he didn’t fuck this up,” Olivia said, wrapping an arm around him. “We wouldn’t be here right now if it hadn’t been for Chris. So in actuality, we both owe him a thank you.”

# # #

     “Can I help with anything?” Olivia asked, peering around Gray as he stirred something in a pot on her stove.
     “Of course not,” he answered, sliding his arm around her shoulders and kissing the top of her head. “This is my home cooked meal for you. Don’t you have to work on my arch nemesis or something?”
     “I’ve already started my laundry,” she said, looking up at him. “I even changed the bedding and made it, though I’m not sure why.”
     Smiling, Gray kissed her. Though they had wanted to spend the entire day in bed and in the throes of passion, they realized they weren’t living in a romance novel and had opted to just spend the day together with random acts of passion happening when they were least expecting it. Putting his hands on her waist, he picked her up and set her on the counter behind them. “Just keep me company,” he said, reluctantly pulling away from her and returning his focus to the stove
     Staring at the center of his shoulders, Olivia felt a sense of happiness slide over her. She was happy that she hadn’t screwed things up by telling Gray she needed space and despite his anger towards Chris she was thankful for his friend because he had indeed brought them closer together. “I don’t like brussels sprouts,” she said. “I hate them even when they’re cooked properly but I also don’t like cabbage.”
     Turning, he leaned against the counter next to the stove. “I don’t like them either.”
     “I love to travel but don’t get to do it often. I don’t make enough time though I have a list of places I’d love to visit.”
     “Where would you go?”
     Spinning on her bottom, Olivia put her feet in the kitchen sink and rested her arms on her knees. “I want to backpack across Europe, and I’d like to go to Antwerp just because of its name. I’d like to zip line across the rainforest and go hiking in the Himalayas. Normally though, when I go on vacation, its to some beach where I can watch the sun slide behind the ocean. What about you?”
     “I want to visit Germany and walk on the Great Wall of China. I want to go to all the vineyards of France and visit Italy and Spain just for the food. I haven’t been to the beach in so long I couldn’t describe the ocean and the last time I took a vacation was when my niece and nephew were born three years ago.”
     “Were you at their birth?”
     Gray nodded, glancing down at the pot next to him. “Caitlin and Dennis. Twins. I took a week off to help my sister and her husband.”
     “What’s your sister’s name?”
     “Emma,” he answered, turning towards the stove. He realized he hadn’t even shared his sister’s name with Ellie or Chris and they hade been friends for what seemed like forever. “Brian’s her husband. He’s a devoted stay at home father and let’s his insanely working wife do what she loves.”
     “What does she do?”
     “She is in pharmaceutical sales. Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
     “No,” Olivia answered. “My mom said after she gave birth to me that she never wanted to go through it again and my dad said he never wanted to step foot into another delivery room if he could help it.”
     Opening the oven, Gray checked on what was inside and then closed it. He placed a lid on what he had been watching on the stove and turned the burner down. “Only about twenty minutes,” he said moving towards Olivia.
     “What else do I need to know about you?” she asked, spinning back around to face him. Pulling him closer with her legs, she wrapped her arms around him.
     “I like to garden though it’s very impractical here in the city,” he said, putting his arms around her. “I do like animals but find it hard to keep them with the hours that I work.”
     “You seem to have a normal nine to five schedule.”
     “I’m trying to impress you.”
     “So you’re a slave to your job like I am.”
     “But I’d much rather be a slave to you.”
     Smiling, Olivia felt the walls within her falling one brick at a time. “I’d rather you be a slave to me too, I can’t afford to feed both of us so until then you keep on working and we’ll make time for each other. Besides, you’re just smitten with me right now. Once that wears off, you’ll love staying in the office until midnight.”
     “I highly doubt this is just me being smitten with you. You’ve kind of gotten under my skin.”
     “We’re even then because you’ve gotten under mine too.”

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