"Oh come, you don't think I'd really do that, do you? Learn a little trust, King. I'm not that meeeeeee- um... yeah... wow." The latter came out involuntarily, but as soon as the words were spoken, Charlie clamped both hands over her mouth, cheeks brilliantly red. I wasn't supposed to say that, she thought to herself miserably. I was thinking it, of course, but I can't believe I actually said it! But the words were out there, and in an effort to reclaim as much dignity as she could, she quietly whispered, "I think I'm going to start the macaroni now," and raced back into the safety of the kitchen.
"I am such an idiot," she hissed to herself, unaware of her guest's supernatural hearing. Her head leaned against the oven, and she lightly bumped it against the glass as she repeated, "Idiot. Idiot. Idiot."
You can't blame yourself, though, came the other voice to her rescue. This was your first time really seeing him. He's hotter than you expected, so your reaction was plenty normal.
This was true, at least. As soon as Charlie turned around to face him, she got a good long look at a very toned chest, slender but anything but skinny. There was definition in his flesh, from the defined abs, the carved arms, the toned... everything. And from that glimpse, she realized something that hurt her heart. That Royce was gorgeous, inside and out, and she... she wasn't really...
No. Royce is mine. He said so himself. I have nothing to be self-conscious about.
Even though it was still a little unbelievable, that someone as wonderful as Royce would pay such attention to her. An utterly normal person. A secretly mean and selfish one.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You've left that all in the past. You've changed. You're happy now.
"I am happy," she whispered, smiling as she thought back on her conversation with Royce in the shed behind the clinic. Had that really only been last week when she told Royce the truth, as much as she could bear, about herself then and herself now. She was happy. Is. Is happy.
There was a pot on the stove with heating water and a box of macaroni on the counter, which she put down to glance back behind her. At Royce. Of course, there was a bit of the old embarrassment and insecurity when she remembered his shirtless self. But she refused to look away. He was hers, and it was her right to look as much as she wanted to. Beautiful and strong and tender Royce. Hers.
"Hey Royce?" she called softly, waiting until she had his attention. "Right now... I mean... are you happy too?"