"Kev, itís five." I kissed his shoulder blade, "Time to get up."

He lifted his head from the mattress, "Ok, you go order. Iíll make drinks."

I leaned in and kissed him long and slow. I walked downstairs and found my phone book. I allowed my mind to think. It screamed not to let this end. I ordered the food, realized I didnít even have to ask what he wanted. By the time I got into the family room there was a line of shots, lemons, and my shaker of salt. The radio was on the local pop station. Mindless fluff. Good choice. I was expecting a headache. "Food will be here in forty five minutes."

"Good, Iím starved." He pushed a shot glass toward me, "Ladies first."

"Thank you, sir." I downed it. He followed. We assumed our places on the couch. I took a deep breathe, "Where do we start? Friendship?"

"Good place. Start easy. Your friendship is one of the most important things in the world to me. Itís right up there with my family, and the guys. I trust you with anything. I tell you everything, except that one thing I havenít told anyone about. You know all this. At least I hope you do."

I smiled, "I do. I donít know what I would do without you as my friend. I donít think Iíve ever had someone like you, this close. That I depend so much on. Not in a sick dependent way, but I do need you."

"I need you too, Trace." We sat and just looked at each other for a few minutes. "Sex. I love sex. Again, thereís nothing I can tell you donít already know. I can, and do separate feelings from my body. Sex is a release when Iím on the road, and it can be more. Iíve been with way too many women, most of which meant absolutely nothing to me. Oh, what you probably donít know. Iíve only had two girlfriends that made it past the one month mark. The first was my high school girlfriend, and after we slept together we pretty much broke up. Neither of us were ready for that. The other was Jessica, and you know that sex wasnít all that impressive. So I have no idea about relationship sex."

"I didnít know that. I like sex too. Same thing, can separate. Depends on my mood. Sometimes the physical is enough, sometimes I know what Iím missing. I think relationship sex can change. Get better or worse. I love to kiss."

He interrupted me with a sly smile, "I never would have guessed."

"Shut up, itís my turn. Relationship sex can become such a given that you forget about the other stuff. Kissing, hugging, foreplay. Kissing doesnít always have to lead to sex. It can be too routine. You have to still work at it." Quiet again. I grabbed a shot. So did he. I went for it, "Sex with you is very good. I really hadnít ever gone there. Which confuses me. I donít know why I didnít. Then that night when we kissed, since then Iíve found it hard to not think about it."

He laughed, "I know what you mean. Hell, I remember that night I looked down your shirt. Nice breasts then went on. Nothing. No reaction. Then after we kissed I nearly killed myself trying to remember how they looked. I didnít think of you like that either, half the time I forgot you were a girl. A mistake I wonít be making again."

I crawled over into his arms and kissed him, "I canít do this next part without you. I donít know why the sex is so good with you, but it is. Way up there on the list. Scratch that, these last two days have been the best Iíve ever had. You are attentive, you listen to what I say and what I donít say, you ask what I want, what I like. Youíre not self conscious about your body."

"I could say the same thing. That first night when you stood there in the bright light letting me look at you. No shame, nothing. Just beautiful." He kissed me. "I donít know if itís youíre that good, Iím that good, or weíre just that good together. I know that us being best friends has to impact that. I donít trust right now, but I trust you. Period. Unconditionally. I donít think Iíve ever had that before. I trusted Jessica, but there wasnít that friendship there, that unconditionality. I thought about this last week. If I would have been given a choice between sex with Jessica, or just hanging out with you . . . I can honestly say I would have chosen you. I trust you more. I donít have to be on guard with you. I donít have to be anything with you. Even now I feel that way."

"Do you think that if you did trust that we would have done this? Is this just about something over nothing. Filling some void."

He thought for a minute. I liked that. "No, I donít think so. Iíve lived the last five years of my life without trust. Iím used to it. Iíve never had that when Iíve dated. If that was the case Iíd have hooked up with you long ago. Itís not that at all."

"I donít know what happened to turn this. Maybe the right time, the right place. You know, walking on the beach I didnít think anything about this. Then weíre kissing like it was a date. If that was a date weíve been dating for a long time. That was no different than any other time weíve gone out. Except the tongue part." The doorbell rang. Kevin went for the food, I got drinks. Shots werenít gonna work.

He set out the food on the table. The two places closest to each other, not side by side, but angled. The placemats squished together. We sat and our legs touched. I laid my foot over his. "I went over that a million times, nothing different. I donít know what happened. I was cool after that. I could back off and not be anything more, be back to friends. Yes, there would be that kiss in there, but we could joke it off. No big deal. But something had changed. AJ nailed me Friday. Asked how I would feel next time you showed up with a new lover. I said I could deal with it if it meant I got to keep you. Then he asked me how I would feel next time I showed up with a new lover and saw the same hurt in your eyes that he had just seen in mine. I couldnít handle that. Thatís when I came to find you. It was like something snapped and I suddenly knew that I wanted you. Wanted more. Screw the consequences, weíd figure it out."

I smiled, "I wondered what had happened. For me I think it was when you decked Michael. You were no longer my friend Kevin, you were a man. Then my mind went to all the other ways you were probably a man too, then I wanted more. When you were holding me as we danced. I thought I was gonna scream." I laughed.

We ate in silence a few minutes, then he looked over, "Do you realize that for the majority of this conversation itís all been Ďweí. ĎWeí kissed, what Ďweí did. Not you kissed me, what you did to me. Itís not about how you feel or how I feel, itís about how we feel."

"Yeah, it is." I didnít know what to say to this, "Maybe this is whatís supposed to happen. Like fate. I wasnít looking for this, for a relationship. And I canít see you and I having sex and it not being a relationship. We already have a relationship."

"Oh god, the last thing I wanted was a relationship."

"Are you ready for that, Kevin? Your annulment isnít even final."

He put down his fork, "I said Ďwantedí. Past tense. Tracie, I realize neither of us sat and discussed this, and it sounds like neither of us spent a lot of time thinking about this. And I know that my brain doesnít always work so well when my dick is engaged, but I know I wouldnít risk our friendship for a fuck. All last week I wasnít thinking about what fucking you would be like, I was considering what a relationship with you would be like. If I was ready for that, if I wanted that, if that would be good for us. I knew that if we decided to try it would be more, how could it not be. I was scared to risk losing you forever. If we didnít work out. God, did that make any sense?"

I smiled and put my hand over his, "Perfectly."


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