Slow Burn

Ella turns around and sees Dean on the other side of the party, drinking a martini and talking to someone. He’s as handsome as ever, his brown hair brushed back and the physique of his arms trying to burst through his shirtsleeves and those eyes. Even from across the room she can see the way his green eyes sparkle and the way they crinkled when he laughs. Ella pushes the olives around in her own martini and watches him.

Wait, watches him? Woman, what are you doing? Why is she not going to talk to him? She’s going to burst into flames right here just looking at him, and look at this asshole he’s talking to. Some nerd from work who will obviously bow out of the conversation when you strut over in that stunning red dress and those shoes, oh my God, you have to tell me where you got them later, but for now, go talk to Dean.

No, she’s still standing there. She’s nervous about going over there and talking to him for some reason. El, I’m telling you right now, he’s into you, girl, so get it. No? Just going to sip your martini and wait for him to notice you? Yeah, no, fine. Do that. Very twenty-first century. Girl power.

Oh, wait, Dean notices her!

He sees Ella watching and gives her one of those enchanting smiles of his, the kind of smile that could melt the black off a crow. He pats his work nerd buddy on the arm and steps around him. As he crosses the party a few people try to get him to stop and chat, including a few other women, but he only has eyes for Ella.

Which I already said, but whatever.

“Fancy meeting you here,” Dean says. He holds his martini out for a toast and it takes Ella an unbearably long time to figure it out. She stares at it for three or four seconds, the longest three or four seconds of my life. When she finally figures it out she gives his glass just the tiniest amount of clink with her own and then they sip, never taking their eyes off each other. It is incredibly hot.

“Couldn’t really turn down an invite from the president of the company,” Ella says. “Had to check out what his place looked like.”

“I was curious myself,” Dean says, looking around the ridiculous mansion. Look, I’m kind of obsessed with this relationship so I don’t really want to take a lot of time going into detail about this house, but trust me when I tell you it is a fucking farce. Exactly the kind of thing morons with hundred of millions of dollars spend their money on. A brief example: if you sit on the guest toilet (the kind from Japan that has a seat warmer and sings a song when it flushes) on the second floor you have a panoramic view of Los Angeles. Utter nonsense.

Anyway, Dean turns back to Ella and say, “I was thinking there was another reason you came.”

Oh, you God damned bet. Ella was never going to come to this stupid party until she heard from Francine that she heard from David that Dean was going to go. Two hours before this party started there was an entire montage of Ella at her sister’s house trying on her dresses until she found this smokeshow hiding in the back of the closet. It was set to “Confident” by Demi Lovato and it was fun and quirky without being over-the-top twee.

Ella averts her eyes but is unable to hide the blush that comes up on her cheeks. He knows. She knows he knows. And he knows that she knows that he knows.

“The view is fantastic.”

What.

The view?

Motherfucker, you’re talking about the view? Kiss her! Kiss! Her! This is obviously what you both want!

“Maybe I could show it to you?”

Ooooooooh. Yes. Yes, I was wrong. This is better. Take her to the view. Away from the party. So much better.

Ella looks around at the people, some of whom she recognizes. Francine is across the room between the six foot tall champagne fountain and an actual living racehorse (fucking rich people) talking to Penelope from accounting, and she gives Ella a subtle thumbs up when she sees she’s talking to Dean. See. Francine gets it.

“I don’t know,” Ella says.

What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You two are perfect for each other, I have already named all your future babies so for the love of Donna and Jessica and Little Mikey go out on the God damned balcony before I tear my fucking hair out.

“What will people think?” Ella asks.

“I doubt anyone will notice. Come on.”

Huge save by Dean there. Christ, I thought my heart was going to explode.

Thankfully, this is all the convincing Ella needs. Dean holds out his hand and after just a half second where I swear to God I thought I was going to have to go down there and physically beat the sense into the woman’s brain, Ella takes his hand and lets him lead her across the party.

Wait. They’re going upstairs. He’s not taking her to the singing toilet, is he?

Oh, no. Phew. There’s a balcony up here. The mansion sits above Los Angeles, and below them the entire city seems to twinkle just for them. Only the faintest sounds of the party make it to them through the glass doors, and Ella can smell lavender on the breeze. It’s entirely possible they’re not supposed to be up here, but they are completely alone and Ella doesn’t care.

Me neither, girl.

“Wow,” Ella breathes. “I’ve never seen the city from up here before.”

Why are you talking?

“Yes, it’s…beautiful.”

Obviously talking about Ella and not the view, but still my question remains. Why are you talking? Make out. Make out right now.

Ella instead blushes again and finishes her drink and I swear, y’all, if I was on that balcony with them I would have tossed myself over the edge by now.

Oh. My. God. Never mind. It seems Ella has finally gotten it through her thick skull that this can happen if she wants it, because using a pretense of pointing to downtown, she sidles closer to Dean. Their arms are practically touching, and I am hyperventilating.

“You can see our building from up here,” she says. She puts her arm down on the railing and her hand brushes the back of his hand.

It’s going to happen.

They’re looking into each other’s eyes. There’s smoldering, I swear to God, they both have bedroom eyes and they are finally going to get together and no one is going to be happier about it than me! Maybe Francine.

Wait.

No, wait, what’s happening?

Shit! Shit! Shit! Dean’s frowning! And now he’s pulling away from her? What? Why? Why? We were so close.

Okay, I know I’m only supposed to be in Ella’s head, but I just took a peak inside Dean’s head and you would not believe this: he’s hesitating because his divorce isn’t finalized. His divorce to a woman whose bitchiness is such a known fact there are billboards around the city calling her a monster. The woman who has been caught with other men by paparazzi no less than six times in the last four months. The woman he’s been physically separated from for almost a year. But because they haven’t fucking signed the divorce papers or whatever, this guy won’t let himself have a little happiness?

“Chilly up here,” he says, killing everyone’s mood in a three mile radius. Seriously, no one is getting any tonight.

Fuck, she’s taking it personally! She thinks this is about her! No, don’t leave! No, you guys were so close! What the fuck! What the fuck! Happiness isn’t this hard! You guys were meant for each other and you’re letting all this petty bullshit get in the way of the smooching! This little dance between these two has been going on for over a month. A month of this! Of stolen glances and blushing and turning away and saying things that might be flirty but also might not be so the other one never acts on it! I’ve never been so frustrated in my life. All I want is for these two absolute watermelons to figure it out and be happy! Be happy! It’s not that hard! Fall into each other’s arms and whisper sweet nothings and take a secret trip to some resort in Cabo where you accidentally run into Dean’s ex-wife and make her jealous so she goes out that night and bangs a male stripper and gets some aggressive STD!

You both want love so stop with the fucking excuses!

Fuck’s sake!


Shamelessly inspired by this old post:


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