April looked up at Jae who loomed over her, arms crossed like a disappointed father watching his daughter climb back into her bedroom window after breaking curfew. She was caught in the act, there was no way to escape with her dignity intact. She stood slowly, waiting for a change in his demeanor. She wished she knew him well enough to even venture a guess as to what he was thinking. His dark eyes gave her not even a clue. She looked for a slightly upturned corner of his mouth. Nothing.
“What are you doing?” His tone was even yet full of curiosity.
“I can explain,” April said while simultaneously trying to come up with an explanation that didn’t make her seem like the total goober she was being. But even if she could think of a somewhat believable lie, she couldn’t lie to him. Just like the night they met when he asked why she was outside at that time of night. A slew of lies came to mind. Waiting for Postmates. Just joined the neighborhood watch. Testing out new thermal underwear. In any other case, very acceptable lies, but all she could actually say to him was what was true.
“I heard your voice and I was headed over to explain about last night but I panicked when your girlfriend came around the corner. I didn’t want her to think…”
“Wait,” Jae said, shaking his head. “My girlfriend?”
“Well, the girl you spent the night with.”
“April, I didn’t spend the night with anyone. After…what happened I came inside and went to sleep. Alone.”
“But, she’s wearing your shirt, isn’t she?” April squeaked, knowing she should just drop it.
“HaJoon is a coworker. She spilled coffee on her blouse on her way to work so she stopped by and I lent her a shirt. That’s all.”
April could feel her cheeks start to burn. She hadn’t been so embarrassed since she tripped on her way to the stage to get her high school diploma. Somehow, the hundreds of snickering students and faculty members hardly compared to Jae’s icy glare. It was hard for her to believe they had just met and she had done so much wrong already. First, her thoughtless comments had made him cry and not once but twice his attempts to kiss her had been interrupted. Now this. She wanted to apologize and beg for forgiveness or at least a chance to start over and let him see who she really was.
“April,” Jae said, looking deep into her eyes.
Here it comes, she thought, preparing for him to politely excuse himself from her life forever.
She still couldn’t tell what he was thinking. His expression hadn’t changed the whole time they had been in the hall. He looked a little tired, a little annoyed and a little amused. His stare was so piercing, however, that April started to feel naked and she looked down to make sure her robe was still closed.
With his index finger, he lifted her chin until their eyes met again.
“Do you have your phone?” He asked.
Confused, April shook her head.
“Are you expecting any more ex-boyfriends?”
April smiled. “No.”
“Good,” Jae said, wrapping one arm around her waist. He pulled her close to him and finally his expression changed. The desire in his eyes made him somehow more appealing and April found herself running her hands up his muscular arms, resting them on his shoulders.
God he smells good, she thought. Why didn’t I shower? Oh yeah, Kenny. Ugh, don’t think about him right now.
April’s internal dialogue distracted her enough that when Jae pushed her against the wall behind her she was taken so off guard she yelped in fear.