Pretending Ch. 05 © 2009 All Rights Reserved “Rachel! Rachel, look out!” Connie was shouting and pointing, but nothing was coming out. The SUV loomed larger and larger as it approached from behind. Connie had seen it in the side mirror and watched in horror as it grew and grew, until the grille filled the little glass. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, she thought with dread. Suddenly the little Corolla was in the air. Connie felt her stomach flop as the center of gravity shifted. The horizon swirled as she looked out the windshield, making her dizzy. For ages, the car was almost floating. It would have been pleasant except for the fact that she knew what would happen next. She always knew. She tried to brace herself, to shift position, but she was frozen. Her legs wouldn’t move, nor her arms. With no warning, the car was on the ground. She never felt the change in direction; there was just a loud smack! and the car stopped moving. Pain suffused her and she began to cry. Simon, please, find me, please, hurry. The thought ran through her mind in a loop but she couldn’t move again, this time trapped by her seatbelt and the weight of the vehicle. How long would she lay here until someone found her? Simon woke up, groggy. He thought bursa escort he had heard someone call his name and remembered Connie was next to him. Had she been dreaming about him? He wondered that with a mix of hope and guilt. Raising up on one arm, he saw her shaking on the bed, tears running down her face. She was saying his name quietly, pleading, like she was calling for him. She sounded terrified; he realized she was dreaming about the accident. Sitting up, he tried to gently shake her awake. “Connie, babe, wake up.” Simon gave her shoulder a quick squeeze. When she didn’t wake immediately, he began to worry, even though he knew she was only dreaming. “Come on, sweetie, wake up.” He shook her a little harder. “It’s only a dream, I’m here.” Connie’s eyes popped open and darted around the room, her breath coming in short gasps. It took a moment for Simon’s voice to penetrate her thoughts. “I’m here, sweetie. It’s all right,” she heard him say. He was running his hand along her arm, and it felt nice. Calming. “Simon?” Her voice was just above a whisper. She focused on him and felt a huge wave a relief wash over her. He nodded. “It’s over, you were just dreaming.” He moved his hand to push some hair back from her eyes, bursa escort bayan then stroked her cheek. “Okay now?” She nodded, then threw her arms around his neck, hiding her few remaining tears. He pulled her closer and soothed her. With Simon’s arms around her, and the warmth of his body next to hers, Connie calmed down. She did not, however, let go. This is what it would be like , she thought. If we really were together, we could do this all the time. He’d be here whenever I woke up. I should just tell him . . . She knew she wouldn’t. Simon was just doing this to help her out. She didn’t want to scare him away; if she lost Simon, she didn’t know what she would do. She couldn’t imagine he’d want to continue splitting an apartment if he knew she had a crush on him. Pretending would have to do. As Connie calmed down, Simon made no move to release her. He stopped reassuring her, but continued to stroke her back. She fits me, he thought. I could just hold her like this for hours. He wanted to tell her, but wasn’t sure. He had sensed that she might return his feelings over the last couple of weeks. At certain times he would catch an expression on her face, or notice her body language, and was fairly sure that she wasn’t escort bursa pretending at all. Then he would wonder if he was just hoping too much. At last, Connie’s grip on him lessened a bit and he lay back, still keeping his arms around her. She looked up at him, her eyes a bit puffy from crying. Although he couldn’t see how green they were in the dark like this, he could imagine. “Had the dream?” She nodded. “I’m sorry.” He kissed her forehead. “I was hoping you wouldn’t.” He moved a little and kissed her temple, then her cheek. He knew he should probably stop, but it was too easy, too natural, to keep kissing her. “It’s not your fault,” she said. “And it was better, to wake up with you here.” She wasn’t sure if what happened next was intentional, but suddenly they were kissing like the night he’d tickled her on the couch. Simon had been giving her such sweet, soft kisses, and then she turned her head a little and their lips met. They both stilled for a moment, but then the kiss resumed, with matching passion on both sides. Bad idea, bad idea , Connie kept thinking, but the thought was swept away by the intensity of Simon’s kiss and her reaction to it. She buried her fingers in his hair, keeping him close. His body felt warm and solid and for the first time in ages she felt safe. Safe and excited at the same time, she realized. Her body was warm, and not because there were too many blankets. Simon found he could not hold on to a coherent thought, especially when Connie ran her fingers through his hair.