Matthew grinned and waived as he left to pick up Marilyn from the bar. When he got there the parking lot was deserted, not even Foster's truck was in the lot. Matthew was a little concerned, but when he tried the back door and found it locked, he breathed easier. Taking out his cell, he sent a quick text and it only took a few moments for the door to open and Marilyn stepped out with her purse over her shoulder. She made double sure the back door was locked before heading toward his car.
"You told them not to take me home didn't you?" she asked without preamble.
Matthew hesitated to respond. It was too dark to see her expression, but Marilyn didn't sound mad so he took a chance. "Yes. But if you really don't want me to give you a ride home, I'll call Foster and he'll get you home."
Marilyn shook her head before realizing he couldn't see her response. "No. That would just be silly, and a waste of gas."
Matthew walked to his car, opened the passenger door and told her to get in. Marilyn complied, wondering if she had offended him in some way. He was quiet on the drive to her house, not even looking at her. She turned slightly in her seat and used the time to study his profile. He was strong and handsome. She was definitely drawn to him. He reminded her of Foster and Grady. Good people. She had been thinking about what Matthew had said to her all evening, between customers. She did always fight with him, mostly because he scared her. She didn't understand him, nor did she understand her attraction to him. This was the first time she had ever had feelings of this nature and she didn't know what to do with them.
Oh, she knew the mechanics of it. Sex. Kissing. Touching. She had just never had the desire to want to do those things with another person. That was what scared her most, the unknown element.
When Matthew pulled up to her house, he rolled the windows down a little to let in the cool evening air and killed the engine. "Are you okay?"
Marilyn took a deep breath. She knew she needed to attempt to explain things to him, and thought it might be easier in the dark. "I was thinking about what you said tonight when you dropped me off."
Matthew smiled to himself, hopeful about things now that she was willing to share, even if it was just a little. "And did you reach any conclusions?"
"Kind of," Marilyn said, beginning to get nervous, but understanding where the feeling was coming from now. "It seems to me that I've been fighting for things my whole life, and mostly when I'm scared. I fight not to lose myself and my sisters, but mostly I fight so fear won't control me. The thing is, so far everything I've been afraid of has been bad. So it’s a habit. Now you’ve come along and you scare me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good kind of scary, but I don't know how to react to good scary, just bad scary."
Matthew digested everything she said. She didn't know he knew about her scars, or that he could guess what caused them, so he actually understood what she was saying better than she knew. He was stunned she was willing to open up this much to him. An ecstatic and scary-good scared. He didn't want to mess it up. All he could think of saying was "Thank you."
Marilyn laughed. "Yeah, I don't really know what else to say either.
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