**Friday is here again, and this week the Admiral said snails, an accident, and the last dance. I hope this suffices. Enjoy!**
“It was an accident. I didn’t mean to!”
I was trying not to be pissed, but it wasn’t working very well. I was sitting across from Shayne, and I just stared. I knew he hadn’t meant to knock me over on purpose. I know he hadn’t seen the giant puddle of muddle rainwater. But somehow I didn’t think that would have stopped him, even if he had seen it. And that was why I was really upset.
“It was a snail,” I said, keeping my voice low. That didn’t stop the anger from creeping in though. I took a deep breath, let it out slowly, and then lifted my gaze to look him directly in the eye. “A tiny, harmless, innocuous snail. I couldn’t do anything to you.”
Shayne wrinkled his nose in distaste even as he blushed. “There were, like, a dozen of them. And they are so disgusting. I just—” He shook his head. “I’m sorry, Jack. I am. But I freaked out when I saw them all.”
He was sincere, that much was easy to see. But I’d been the one who had spent the entire wedding reception sitting in wet pants. I’d done the best I could to dry the off in the bathroom, but it had done little to help. As it was, the pants were ruined. They’d been one of my nicer pairs. The ones I pulled out when I had to actually dress up at work in order to impress a client. Perhaps even more than that, they looked fantastic on me. I had a pretty nice body to begin with, but these pants did really good things for my thighs and ass. They were a total loss now.
But deep down, I knew he hadn’t meant it. He’d just reacted. And if I were completely honest, Shayne’s passion was one of the things that had drawn me to him in the first place. He reacted to everything with his whole heart and mind, and I absolutely loved that about him. So a few dozen tiny snails in the parking lot grossed him out, and he reacted as only he could.
Another deep breath, and I tried again to let the anger go. It wasn’t worth it. And when I caught sight of him staring at me from across the table, his big eyes pleading, I knew I’d forgive him. He’d been overly solicitous all night, running to the bar whenever I wanted a beer, fetching my food from the buffet, and bringing back the biggest piece of cake that he could find. He hadn’t complained once about staying so late either, which was a record in and of itself.
The reception was finally winding down. The brides had left an hour or so ago, off to a sweet little bed and breakfast in the Adirondacks for a week, and the only guests left were us stragglers. I’d spent most of the nice holding court at my table, entertaining family and friends. But now, there were only a few dozen people left and the DJ was ready to pack it in for the night. She announced the last song, and a slow love song started playing.
I looked back across the table at the love of my life, and found myself smiling. Without saying a word, I held out my hand. Shayne was quick to take it. I tugged gently, and he stood. We joined the last few couples on the parquet floor. I pulled him into my arms, loving the way he fit, and started swaying to the music.
Shayne snuggled in even closer, wrapping one arm around my waist. I tucked his other hand against my chest, right over my heart. He smiled, his face lighting, and I found myself returning the grin. We moved to the sweeping ballad, our bodies in perfect sync.
“I love you Jack,” Shayne breathed, his gaze intense. “And I’m sorry I accidentally pushed you into a puddle because of the gross snails.”
I couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped. “I love you too. And you can make it up to me, once we get home and you take off my pants.”
For just a second, his eyes widened, and then his lids dropped to half-mast as he caught on. “Can we leave now?”
I pulled him in tighter. “We have to finish our dance.”
Shayne melted against me, laying his head on my shoulder, and breathing out a sigh. Somehow I was certain that the last dance was just the beginning