Standing up straight and looking into the mirror, I see Sal standing behind me, wet from a shower. His chest is bare with the exception of a thin silver chain, a cross attached and dangling from his neck. The only thing he has on are gray track pants, hanging low on his waist, showing the perfect shape of his toned hips and slender build. The definition of muscle from his chest to his stomach as it makes its way down his body has my mouth watering. God, he’s perfect. He has a towel in his hand, the motion of drying his short hair halted at the sight of me in his bedroom. His dark eyes burn into mine. I can feel his stare all the way to my toes. Those familiar goose bumps are back and covering every inch of my skin. Without breaking eye contact, I explain my intrusion into his personal space, “I…I um, the door was open.” He looks over at the door then back at me. Heat rises up my neck and I feel it coloring my cheeks. I turn to face him, my face red with embarrassment. The tension is heavy that I came in without being asked and found him half naked. “You said you wanted to talk to me? Before I left.”
He doesn’t say a word, just walks towards me and puts the towel onto the chair next to his bed. As he passes me, he lays a hand on my waist. Sal pulls me closer to him as he turns. His arms wrap around my waist and I’m surprised at the intimate way he hugs me. Sal holds me tight, like he’s missed me. It’s strange but feels so good. His hand moves up my back and rests on the back of my head. I sink deeper into his arms. My hands come up to rest on his chest, my cheek pressing against him just below his neck. He holds me as if I’m cherished, as if I belong here in his embrace. Inhaling deep, I’m lost in the sweet scent of sandalwood, sawdust and fresh cut grass. He pulls away from me a little, just enough so that our bodies still touch. His forehead comes down to rest against mine. My eyes are closed, and I can feel his breath against my lips. I don’t move, I don’t breathe. Sal removes the band holding my braid at the base of my spine, releasing my unruly hair. I exhale the breath I’m holding as his hands separate my braid section by section. He slightly pulls on my hair as he climbs his fingers up toward my scalp. The curls surround me, the smell of lavender from my conditioner overtaking his scent. He rubs my scalp, keeping his forehead against mine. It’s the best feeling. The tenderness of my head from the heavy braid easing a little from his attention. His hands move around to my neck, his thumbs caressing my jaw. His voice is like gravel when he finally speaks. “You. Are. So. Beautiful.” Each word he says as a statement, with so much passion behind each word. “When I’m around you and I can’t hold you like this, I can’t breathe.” He lays a kiss on my forehead, then each of my cheeks. “I want to take you somewhere. Will you go somewhere with me, tomorrow?” His hand now rests on my cheek. The look in his eyes makes me feel needed. Wanted. I can’t believe that so quickly I would feel this safe and secure with Sal. Just knowing that no matter what he asks of me, I won’t deny him.