I felt someone rubbing my shoulders, the rolling motions making me moan. The hands moved up my nape and did the same rolling motion, and I finally woke up. I sat up and H’s hands slid forward, and he was draped behind me, snuggling.
“Did you really just fall asleep on your desk?” he whispered into my ear, and I nodded. He kissed me on the temple, and then stood up, pulling me up next to him. I looked at the desk that I had just vacated, and there was a ghost of a smile on H’s face when he touched my cheek.
“You have a J, a K, L, and a bunch of other keys etched on your face, luv.” His finger slid to my chin, and I just gazed up at him. He poked my chin. “And you have a space bar too.”
I rolled my eyes at him, at this man poking fun (no pun intended) at my sleeping at my desk for what felt like the third night in the row. Coupled with H’s gigs all over the country (and the world), my job was weighing me down. I have reports due and video conferences to attend. I knew I was going to get it when I go back to the office on Monday.
Frankly, I’m amused I haven’t been fired yet.
“You’ve been at it for days already, K. I think you deserve some rest.”
I shook my head, feeling that this suggestion isn’t boding well for me. “I have a lot of things to do. Reports to finish. Proposals to write. Emails to reply to…” My voice trailed as I heard it quiver. H hushed me but I refused to be shh-ed. I am too panicky for that.
And then H says the one thing that has been on my mind lately.
He placed his hands on my shoulder, rubbing, and then said, “Luv, I think it might be a good idea to just quit your job.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose, shaking my head. “And do what after that, exactly?” I countered. “Be a professional fangirl to you and your band? Taking the stage girlfriend to a whole new level?”
“No!” H gently removed my hand from my face and then I gazed back into his green eyes. There was some sort of determination in them, which puzzled me. “Look, I just want you to rest first and then we figure things out. I know I’ve asked a lot from you—attending my gigs, showing your support—”
“Jesus, Hayden. You didn’t ask for me to those things. I wanted to do those things.”
“In place of what? Sacrificing what you loved to do?”
I paused, closing my eyes momentarily as Hayden plowed on. “You make me do what I want to do, Kayla. And you’re supporting me all the way. And I want to do the same thing for you. Watch less shows, I’m fine with that—”
“I am not sure anymore if this is what I wanted to do, Hayden,” I cut in, defeated. I leaned back against the desk and he followed my suit, standing next to me.
“You’re just tired. You shouldn’t make hasty decisions when you’re tired.” There was a glint in his eyes when he said that, and I know he had heard it from me at some point. “You love what you do, Kayla. I’m not going to make you stop doing it just because you have this bump in the road.”
I felt his hand over mine, and he gave it a slight squeeze. “Ambition,” I whispered, and I saw a frown crumple his forehead. “You said in an interview that you wanted your lady to have ambition.” He paused, as if thinking if he really did. I didn’t give him any more time to recall as I continued, “What if what I really wanted was to just have a small bookstore with a coffee shop next to it? What if what I wanted to do was to just write, Hayden? What if I am fine without all these numbers and reports, as long as I am in the comfort of my books? Is wanting that not ambition?”
I heard him draw a deep breath. “I think it’s ambition already that you think you want something, Kayla, no matter how simple that may be.” He faced me, his hand reaching up and resting on my shoulder, his fingers playing with strands of my hair. “And I don’t think managing a business is anything but simple.” I stayed silent, mulling over his words.
H leaned his forehead against mine. “You don’t have to fit into whatever standard you think I have set for the person I want to be with,” he whispered, his breath warm on my face. “Because you are the standard now, Kayla. You are the one I want to be with. Possibly until forever.”
I touched his cheek, and he cuddled closer to it.
“Hayden,” I whispered after a long while.
“I don’t want to know ever how I’m going to live this world without you, you get me? I love you.”
His lips brushed against mine, soft and sweet. “Won’t let that happen, luv.” He blew on my ear just as he whispered, “Whatever you decide, I’ll be here.”
I thanked him, and he laughed because just as I did, my stomach let out a loud grumble. He placed his hands on my shoulder, pushing me to the kitchen, telling me he’ll make the best French toast I will ever taste in this lifetime.