Sean was waiting for her outside the office building. As soon as he saw Anna his face broke out in a big smile. He walked towards her and pulled her close in a tight hug as soon as she was in arms reach.
“I missed you,” he said, happily. “Oh. Did that sound creepy?I hope not.”
Anna laughed. “Not creepy at all. I missed you too.” She noticed Leah’s car parked on the curb. “Oh no, you brought the nightmare,” she remarked with faked horror, “I hope your surprise isn’t time sensitive.”
Sean held up his index finger as if to say ‘just wait’. He took Anna’s arm, led her to the car and opened the passenger’s side door for her. Anna watched amused as Sean walked around to the driver’s side. She was sure he thought he figured out a method for getting the engine running. Leah had found dozens of ‘methods’. It meant she had gotten luck one time. They almost never worked twice.
Sean got in, looked at Anna to see if she was paying attention, stuck the key in the ignition and turned it. The engine roared alive as soon as the key was turned all the way. Sean beamed. “Ah? Ah?” he said proudly.
“Wow!” Anna was honestly surprised and impressed.
“Yeah, I don’t only know computers, I can take an engine apart, too,” Sean bragged.
“This is the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen,” Anna replied in awe.
Sean was all smiles as he pulled the car out of it’s parking spot and drove onto the street. “Nothing was really wrong with it, just needed a good cleaning and…wait,” He shot Anna a look, eyes narrowed, “this is the most impressive thing? I made you orgasm so hard you couldn’t walk, but cleaning an engine is that most impressive thing?”
Anna couldn’t tell if his indignation was real or played but she wasn’t going to back down. “Well, neither one of us is walking now.”
“I am not walking,” Sean shot back, “you are this close to getting kicked out of the car, Missy.” He tried to sound serious but couldn’t quite hide his grin. “First time I got my ego trampled on with flattery….”
For the first time the perfect retort came to Anna just as she needed it. She giggled and said: “I don’t really want you to stop trying, do I?”
Sean laughed and briefly took his hand off the wheel to squeeze her leg, just above the knee.
They drove to the edge of the industrial zone. Sean pulled into the parking lot of an old empty brownstone warehouse. “Here we are,” he said, sounding excited. He got out of the car and started walking towards the door.
Anna hesitantly got out of the car and looked around. the windows of the building were boarded up. Weeds were growing trough the cracks in the asphalt of the parking lot. A yellowed sign told her there used to be a cargo company here. The paint had started peeling. The place had obviously not been in use for years.
She stayed close to the car, not really afraid but not entirely at ease either. “Um, Do you often take women to abandoned buildings for a surprise?” she called out to Sean.
Sean stopped walking and turned towards her. He seemed confused. “What?” he looked at her, standing much farther away from him than he had expected, arms crossed over her chest. Then he looked around too, seeing maybe for the first time what she was seeing right now. The color seemed to drain from his face. “No, no, no,” he said quickly, “This isn’t…you don’t understand. I bought this place. I got the keys this morning.” He held up an old key chain with four keys hanging from it and smiled. “Anything happens here now, it will be immediately traced back to me. You will be perfectly safe.” He walked back to Anna and took her hand. “Trust me?”
Anna looked at him for a second and decided she did trust him. “Alright. Just checking, you know.”
Sean looked happy and pulled her along to the door. “I know it needs a lot of work,” he told her as he struggled to get the lock open, “but I had the building checked out. The structure is sound and the roof is great. All that needs to be done is cosmetic. I have big plans for this place.”
He opened the door and they walked inside. It was a little dusty and a little dark, the only light coming in trough the cracks of the boards nailed over the windows. But it was just a large empty room. No secret sex dungeon. Anna couldn’t quite decide if she was relieved to see that, or disappointed. Sean had gotten excited again.
“In the front here, there’s going to be the desks with computers. I’m aiming to have a number of employees, four or so, by this time next year. On the other side we’ll have a meeting room and my office, a nice little break area…About one-third into the space here,” He ran towards the middle of the room, “Will be server room, storage, archive, you know all the back end things a business needs.”
Anna smiled while she looked and listened to Sean explain his dream. It was nice to see him so enthusiastic. It was contagious, too. She was starting to see what he was seeing. The warehouse could be turned into a really nice place to work.
“An architect friend is drawing up the plans for me. Since it’s all interior, getting permits is going to be a breeze.” Sean ran back to her, grabbed her hand again and pulled her along farther into the room. “This part here, will be closed off completely. I checked the zoning before I bought it. It’s right in the gray area. There’s nothing stopping me from living here.”
Those words swiped the smile off Anna’s face. She felt her heart drop. “You’re going to live here?” she asked quietly. It was only now she realized she had been secretly counting on Sean not being able to find a place of his own, making him move in with her a real and reasonable possibility. Now that fantasy had been crushed.
“Eventually, it needs a lot of construction. I’ll have to get a kitchen and bathroom build and…” Sean noticed Anna’s expression “What’s that face?”
She tried to put on a smile. “Nothing. I’m happy for you.”
Sean took her in his arms. “You’re a really bad liar, you know that? What’s wrong?”
Anna half sighed, half laughed. “Sorry. It really is nothing. I just thought…I hoped…Never mind. I wasn’t being realistic.”
Sean studied her face. “You were hopping I’d have to move in with you?”
Anna gave a small, embarrassed nod. She felt silly for entertaining the thought so early in the relationship. Could they even call it a relationship yet? “I’m getting a bit ahead of myself and I can’t really help it,” she confessed.
Sean kissed her and pulled her close. They stood in a silent embrace for a while, then Sean whispered in her ear, sounding about as embarrassed as she felt, “I thought you were renting?”