Tyler’s lips brushed mine teasingly once then he leaned back in his seat.

“We have about an hour until I have to get you to work,” he said glancing at his wrist watch. “Do you want to come in for a coffee?”

“Ah, sure,” I replied. Coffee? I was surprised and I admit, a little disappointed. Maybe coffee was code for kissing? A new vernacular I didn’t know, like Netflix and chill?

While I was caught up in my thoughts, Tyler had circled the car and opened my door. I took the hand he offered and let him help me to the ground. Though I’d been here before I hadn’t really taken it in, the way the houses were set back from the street and had a decent distance between them. No need to worry about the neighbours hearing you argue here.

“Okay?” Tyler flashed me a smile as he led me to his front door and I nodded, managing a nervous smile.

I waited as he opened the door, feeling a little spotlighted on his front porch. I pictured my own home, how close the houses were and was glad that I hadn’t kissed Tyler there. Yes, I’d done it that morning but at 6am the chances of being seen were a lot lower than at 9pm. And as much as I didn’t care what Paul thought, I did care about my boys, and people could be cruel in their gossip. I had let my feelings overwhelm my common sense, something I was starting to think could be a problem with Tyler. Luckily, he’d had better control than me.

I followed him inside to his kitchen with the timber floors and granite bench and sat on the same stool I had before while he made us both coffee. I was struck by how tidy everything was, the timber floors were gleaming, there were no stray dishes in the sink.

“Are you a neat freak?” I blurted.

“What?” Tyler turned to me a look of surprise on his face.

“Every thing is so … perfect,” I said accusingly. “So are you?”

“Fuck no.” He shook his head and grinned. “You should see my bedroom.”

I didn’t know what to say to that so I just gave him the look I used on my boys when they were being cheeky and said, “Really?”

He shrugged, his grin changed to a smirk and he murmured, “Maybe. But first, coffee.”

I waited for him to prepare the drinks and take a seat on the stool beside me before I asked, “So don’t you cook?”

“I cook,” he said and nudged the cup closer to me so I picked it up to take a sip. “I also clean.”

There was clean, and there was clean. The room was beautiful but it had no personality, not even a magnet on the fridge. “You sure do,” I agreed and took another sip.

Tyler narrowed his eyes at me then sighed and stood up. He went around to the other side of the bench and opened a door that I figured was the pantry.

“Come here.” He crooked a finger at me so I gave him that look again. “Please,” he added so I stood up and approached him. He braced his arm across the doorway and gave me a serious look. “You’re about to see my darkest secret. After this … well I’ll understand if you think less of me.”

His eyes let me know he was joking. “It can’t be that bad.” I tried to see past his arm but it was too dark.

“I warned you,” he said with a sigh then dropped his arm and reached inside, flicking a light switch.

My gasp was genuine, but not at any mess, it was surprise. It wasn’t a pantry, well I guess it technically was, a butler’s pantry I think they called them. Basically a full kitchen hidden away, with a few dishes in the sink, a full sized refrigerator decorated with magnets and artwork. There was  a loaf of bread on a counter near a toaster too, it was amazing.

“Tyler this is amazing.” I shook my head.

“I know.” He winced. “I’m a slob.”

“Yeah, totally,” I said with a laugh and I reached up and patted his chest.

In an instant the atmosphere went from teasing to tense as my fingers curled against his chest. I met his eyes for a hot moment and I knew we both wanted the same thing. His eyes dropped to my mouth and it would have been so easy to lean into him but I stepped back instead.

We already knew we were attracted to each other physically, the question was if there was anything deeper? I didn’t just want some hot sex, as Margie had put it, from him. So I went back to my coffee, ignored the tremble in my fingers as I picked up the cup to sip the really excellent coffee he’d made.

I heard him sigh heavily and couldn’t stop myself looking at him. He had one hand braced against the door jamb, the other buried in his hair, his eyes closed. Which meant I could stare and I did. His tshirt had ridden up to show a strip of skin, the ridges of defined abs. He was mouth watering, too much temptation.

I looked away, took another sip of coffee and cleared my throat. This time when I looked at him I kept my eyes on his face. “So Tyler, you know what I do, tell me about your job.”

His chest heaved as he sucked in a deep breath and stood up, his hands dropping to his sides. Those gorgeous green eyes met mine as his lips tilted in a small smile.

“Talking,” he said as if it were the best thing he’d heard all day. “We’re going to talk.” He came around and sat down, turning his body to face me so I twisted around too. “What do you want to know Lily?”

I gave his question some serious thought but in the end I couldn’t choose one thing to start with so I shrugged and said, “Everything?”

He gave a low laugh, looking incredibly happy. “Once upon a time thirty seven years ago,” he began.