He strode into the kitchen with his jacket open. He, too, wore a T-shirt with his jeans. His dark blue T-shirt read Hermits Unite! in white letters.
“Interesting shirt. Are you sure it’s all right to leave your cave to be out in public?”
He ran a hand over the front of his shirt. “Uh, it’s another Doctor Who reference.”
She smiled at that. Even not in costume, he wore his geekhood. “Speaking of which, I watched a few episodes of the tenth doctor. You were quoting him.”
“When we talked about books. You said something like books are the best weapons. I thought it was cool at the time, but then I learned you stole the line from Doctor Who.”
He blushed but took a step closer to her. “I tend to do that—use lines from the character I’m portraying. It’s the actor in me.”
“Is that all?”
“No. It also makes things easier when I’m nervous. If I use someone else’s words, I won’t embarrass myself.”
“Interesting tactic. I might have to give it a try.”
He laughed. “You? I can’t imagine you ever get nervous.”
“Maybe I’m a better actor than you are.” The air between them filled with tension, but it was good. She drew nearer to him. “For instance, I’m extremely nervous right now.”
“Why?” His voice had dropped to a lower register, and it was sexy as hell.
“Because I want tonight to be good, and first dates tend to suck.”
“I’ll do my level best to make sure it doesn’t.”
She stood close enough that she watched his pulse thump in his neck. She had the urge to kiss him to see if his pulse would spike, but part of her feared it would scare him away.
She licked her lips, tasting her strawberry gloss, and asked, “Ready to go?”
He stepped back and swept out an arm. “As you wish.”
She pointed at him. “I know that one. Princess Bride, right?”
“You won’t need quotes tonight. You already got me on a date. No need to be nervous.” She reached into the closet and tugged her coat off a hanger.
“Easier said than done.”
“I always thought that for a guy, asking was the hardest part.”
“True, it only takes about twenty seconds of insane courage.”
“Ha! I know that one too. We Bought a Zoo. Don’t you think it’s a little weird that you can pull out quotes throughout a conversation like it’s nothing?”
He took her coat and held it open for her to slide into. “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”
She turned, still standing close enough to brush against him as she pulled her coat closed. She stared and tried to decide whether that was another quote.
He slowly slid his hands under her hair and freed it where it had been trapped under her collar. In doing so, he was even closer. She smelled his cologne and wanted to bury her nose in his neck. His thumbs caressed her neck and he leaned close to her ear. “The Breakfast Club.”
His breath on her ear sent a zing through her body. Something about his quiet mannerisms made her want to rub up against him.