While the lukewarm water was pelting down onto me, I thought about how I could lead the conversation with Grayson to my plan. I'd been relieved to find that he wasn't as stiff and unapproachable as it had seemed at first. He'd even done something illegal. He'd broken into my apartment; though with my permission, but at least he hadn't even felt remorse. So that spoke in favor of him also being cool about playing my fake boyfriend in front of my family. The only question was how I should approach the topic without him freaking out. After all I couldn't just go to him and ask him, "Hey, Grayson, could you maybe play my lover for a weekend?" No, that'd be a little too straightforward; even for me. Though it wasn't an option to stay in the shower and ponder about it either. I hastily turned off the shower and fished for a towel from the hanger. In record time I dried myself off, slipped into clean clothes and then started styling my hair and putting on make up. For a moment I'd actually considered putting on my new dress. But if we were only going to sit on the sofa and eat hamburgers, it might not be quite the right outfit. I just hoped my mom didn't have some special dress code for her wedding day because then I could wear it there. I'd just made the last brushstroke in my face as I heard Grayson's angry voice through the closed door…

"Give it back, you damned dog! No! That's mine! NO! DON'T EAT IT!"

I dropped everything, unlocked the bathroom door and ran into the living room. The view I then got was so funny that I had a hard time to stop myself from laughing. Grayson was on the floor, on all fours, desperately pulling at something Benji had in his muzzle. "Benji, NO!" I said in a tone that didn't allow any objection. And, look at that, my dog listened, although I hadn't really expected it. He spit out the object and I picked it up. It was a piece of paper, slobbery but still intact. Out of sheer curiosity I unfolded it and read what was written on it. It was a list containing various questions, as I soon realized. I looked at Grayson questioningly, who had meanwhile risen from the ground and looked at me with an almost shy smile. "What's this?"

"It's a list my friend Daniel put together," he then admitted hesitantly.

"A list… for what?" I asked curiously. Grayson ran a hand through his hair, and I suddenly felt incredibly hot. Had I mentioned that I had an absolute fetish for pretty, male hands? There are women who were into muscles and firm ass cheeks. I got weak when a man had slim hands and well-tended fingernails, nice teeth and dimples. Grayson had all three, which made him even more attractive to me. That he, in addition, was also tall and had an athletic body played a rather minor role.

"A manual for the first date," he said and cleared his throat sheepishly. "The last one I had was what feels like half a millennia ago. That's why he made this list for me."

"Half a millennia?" I asked with a smirk. "I don't think you're that old yet."


I tapped on my chest. "22," I said proudly. "So, now that we have that sorted out we should go through this list."

"I'd rather not…" He tried grabbing it but I quickly pulled my hand back so he grabbed air. "Vivian, please!" he begged. "I'd prefer we wouldn't do this."

"You're friend would be pretty disappointed," I said. "After all he put so much effort into it. Besides, there's nothing on it that'd be too embarrassing for me to answer."

"Okay." He ran his hand through his hair again and sighed quietly. "But don't say I didn't warn you."

I joined him on the sofa. "How did Benji even get to it?"

Grayson smiled nervously. "I took it out of my jacket because I meant to go through it again," he explained. "But then I put it down on the table for a mere moment and your dog came and grabbed it."

I nodded. "Yeah, that's a real problem. You can't ever leave anything lying around. Especially not on the table. He actually thinks everything on the table belongs to him. That's why my flowers are on the top of the cabinet instead of on the table."

Grayson's mouth twitched. "So, in fact, it wasn't a joke he likes to eat flowers?"

"No, I fear not," I admitted sheepishly. "But I have an eye on him." I took the list and unfolded it again. "We could answer the questions together. That way it'll be equally embarrassing for both of us." For the first time he laughed again and I felt all warm inside. Only now I looked him straight into his eyes and found that they had a beautiful blue and green color.

"Are you going to start?"

I nodded. "To make it easier I'll go through the points now and then summarize my answers, okay?" Grayson nodded and I started checking the list. "My favorite food is pasta, I don't have THE most embarrassing moment but a lot of them, yes, I believe in love at first sight, I hate spiders and fish, the biggest challenge was my move from San Francisco to LA and I'm not a virgin anymore. So I gotta answer the one about premarital sex with a yes." I looked up for a moment, finding him smiling at me. "You want me to go on?" He nodded and I continued. "I've never been that far from home so I don't know any other countries. Actually, I've never thought about how many kids I wanna have. But I do wanna have kids when I found the perfect man for that." I was interrupted as Benji suddenly jumped onto the sofa and settled his head on Grayson's lap. "Wow, he normally doesn't do that with strangers," I said in surprise. "That's true proof of his love for you."

Grayson smiled. "He probably smells Cassie on me," he said before he started petting Benji.

I was sure if Benji were a cat, he surely would have purred. I looked back at my list. "I have an older sister. Audrey is 24." I went on through the points. "And I like to live in the present. The future will come soon enough."

Grayson nodded. "Excellent answer. I would have decided the same way."

"Shush!" Out of reflex I leaned towards him and put a finger on his soft lips. "It's not your turn yet," I said, feeling my pulse suddenly speeding up. Neither one of us moved. We only looked at each other. But this very intimate moment, my finger on his lips, our eyes fixed on each other like magnets, made me say aloud what was deep in my heart. "Would you agree to play my lover for a weekend?"