Third in Series.
Nathaniel and I made it to the rooftop deck right as Jackson took the potatoes from the grill.
“Right on time,” Felicia said.
Nathaniel placed the dressings on the table and took the bowl from me. Then he came behind my chair and pulled it out for me.
“You don’t have to do that, you know,” I told him, taking a seat as he pushed the chair under the table.
“Humor me?” He trailed his fingers down my back and then back up, coming to rest at the nape of my neck with a soft squeeze. It was as if he felt more comfortable touching me. Needed a physical connection with me.
I glanced over to Felicia and Jackson. They stood by the grill, talking. Felicia balanced a plateful of potatoes.
“I like taking care of you,” Nathaniel said, taking his own seat.
“You took care of me all weekend,” I countered.
“No.” He smiled. “You took care of me.”
I placed a napkin in my lap. “How about we just agree that we both took care of each other?”
“I’ll go with that,” he said. “But you need to accept the fact that I will always pull your chair out, open your car door, and stand when you leave the table.” He leaned over to whisper, “It’s the way I was raised. My dad and uncle did the same things for mom and Linda, and they never served them the way you serve me.”
“That you know of,” I shot back.
He laughed. “I’m not even going to think about that.”
Jackson and Felicia walked to the table.
“So,” Jackson said, sitting down. “What have you two been up to this weekend?”
Felicia’s eyes bugged out. I almost giggled, it was so comical. What did she think I was going to do? Launch into a running commentary on the ins and outs of what we had done?
“Abby treated me to her delicious French toast,” Nathaniel said, speaking of the breakfast I’d made for him that morning. He raised his glass to me. “Superb, as always.” He looked over to Felicia. “Has she shared her recipe with you? Jackson loves French toast.”
Felicia shook her head. “I’m not much of a cook. I’m afraid Jackson will have to do without that particular delicacy.”
And just like that, the conversation drifted away from our weekend. I placed a hand on Nathaniel’s knee and he reached down to intertwine our fingers.
I squeezed his knee. Thank you.
He returned the squeeze. You’re welcome.