Ashley sat at the table, drink in hand, as the other Messenger’s filled out. Once a month, Lester took the team out for dinner and drinks, to allow them time to get to know each other and to interact in a more relaxed setting. Dinner was done, the others were leaving, but she wasn’t done with her drink. She had come here from an Assignment and it had gone very well. She wanted to enjoy the feeling for a little while longer.
Ashley looked up and smiled at Joshua. “Hello.”
“Mind if I sit?”
“Sure.” She leaned back in her chair as he sat in the one next to hers. “Not ready to leave, either?”
He looked her in the eyes and assessed her mood. She seemed rather relaxed, but there was a slight glint in her eye. He felt like he looked the same way. “I’m riled up. I had a great day and I can only thing of one way to end it.”
She gave a knowing smile. “Sex?”
He waited a heartbeat out of surprise, and then nodded. “Yep.”
“Your place or mine?” She downed her drink.
“Mine is about three blocks away.”
“Which means we can walk. Mines further away.” She stood up.
Joshua leaned back. “Wait, seriously?”
Ashley looked him in the eye, leaned forward and placed her hands on the table. “You approached me. You didn’t seem like you wanted to take your time getting to the end game. I’ve had an amazing day and I have a lot of pent up energy. I want more. If you want more, get up off your ass and take me to your place, and screw the hell out of me.”
He looked surprised, but that went away and melted into a rather dopey smile. Joshua got up led the way to his apartment.
Some months later
The alarm woke them in the morning. Ashley reached out and turned off the alarm. She was immediately up and gathering clothing.
“You have to go in right away?”
“Yeah, Lester told me last night I would have a new Assignment today.”
He sat up and watched as she walked around the room. She had a drawer of clothing in his dresser and a couple things hanging in his closet. “Do you have a few minutes to talk?”
Ashley stopped moving then went to the bed and sat down, facing him. “A few. What’s up?”
“I was wondering if you wanted make us exclusive or something.”
She blushed a bit. “Joshua, have you slept with anyone else since we started this?”
“Um, well. I did sleep with someone when you were out of town for those two months.”
“You told me about that, when I came home. Anyone else?”
He shook his head. “No.”
“Before we started sleeping together, I didn’t have a lot of partners. Wasn’t my thing. After the third time we hooked up, I pretty much decided you were going to be my booty call. No reason to find anyone else, especially since you were so keen on being with me.”
He blushed a bit and laughed. “Ok.”
“Three months ago, when Lester brought you home?”
He looked away as memories of that night came to him. Joshua spoke quietly. “Yeah.”
“That’s the night I realized I fell for you. You were late, and it scared the hell out of me. I realized then that if I was that worried, then I cared, a lot. I’m good with exclusive. I might go so far as to ask if you want to simplify things and move in together.”
She cracked up. “You said the same thing when I told you I wanted to sleep with you that first time.”
Joshua laughed as well. When they calmed down he moved closer to Ashley and gently laid his hand on her arm. “I want to be with you. We like the same movies, books, music. We think the same about most politics.”
“We have the same job and it doesn’t bother either one of us not to talk about the day.”
They stared each other in the eyes and Joshua reached out to place his hand on her cheek.
“I want to be exclusive. I want to go to bed with you every night and wake up with you every morning. Move in with me. Or I can move into your place. Or we can find some place else to live.”
She smiled, and his breath hitched. She had such a lovely smile. “We’ll talk about it more when I get home tonight. Will you be here tonight?”
“I shouldn’t be assigned anything for the next few days.”
“Well, hopefully, mine won’t take long. We’ll talk when we can and we’ll figure it out, but I think getting a new place together is the best idea. My place is too small, and yours is a good size, but it’s missing some things I like about my place.”
“Ok, I’ll get a list of things together I want in a new place and we’ll talk more later.”
Ashley smiled. “All right. I have to get out of here.
Joshua leaned in and kissed Ashley. “I’m glad we talked.”
“Me, too.” She kissed him again, then moved off the bed. She had to get to work.