"I guess I miss human warmth more than anything else."
She stretched in her arm chair and looked at him from across the room. He occupied his own armchair in stoic silence, waiting for her to say more.
"That's it," she said. "That's all. I miss the sex, of course. I mean, who wouldn't? But, more than anything, I miss reaching over and touching somebody."
They had met at her apartment to discuss plans for the summer. More people were supposed to come to plan a one-week beach getaway together, but it was raining heavily, which left the others rained out and left them rained in. He tried to get to his car but the streets looked dangerously slippery, so she practically dragged him back into the apartment with the promise of hot cocoa and a welcoming couch until the morning.
She had been divorced for a year. He was her friend, divorced for slightly longer. They had been discussing the embarrasing fact that neither of them had been with anybody since their respective divorces. He had been on two first dates, one of which had ended with a rather awkward kiss in a cab, but she had not even been on a date. She had not been touched affectionately, non-platonically, in more than 18 months.
"But you do miss the sex," he replied. "I know I do. A man can only take so many cold showers."
"Or go through so many bottles of lube!" she laughed.
He stretched lazily and looked at her from over his glasses. "Desparation leads to friends-with-benefits, you know. You just ask."
She looked at him thoughtfully and couldn't decide if he was just joking. They had known each other more than 8 years, and it was still pretty difficult for her to figure out if his casual flirtation was just harmless jokes or lead-ins for something else. She did know, however, that they always had a great time together, and that she wouldn't have minded at all if things moved in to the next level.
She shifted her weight in her armchair and clung on to her steaming mug. She swallowed with great difficulty and cleared her throat discretely, although in her ears it sounded loud enough to wake up the neighbors. Why not?
"Come to bed with me!" she said it very quickly, as if she was afraid she was going to change her mind mid-sentence.
He turned sharply and almost spilled his cocoa all over his pants.
"Come to bed with me," she repeated. "Just to sleep. I meant what I said about missing human warmth. I just..."
"Okay," he said.
"Really?" she asked, surprised.
"I miss human warmth too." He winked and put the mug on the coffee table. "Yours is as good as any."
"Tease!" she laughed and walked over to him, kissing him on the forehead. "But you're a brave tease, wanderig into no-man's land like that."
"Don't worry. This man knows how to defend himself. Now do you have anything for me to wear to bed? I don't supposed I can sleep in my jeans."
"I have a t-shirt you can borrow."
"T-shirt and boxers it is then..."
"I hope you don't mind my Futurama pajamas then. I keep them for special occasions, so I thought I'd celebrate your visit."
"Good to know that you're trying your best to seduce me," he quipped. "I'm extremely seducable these days."
She threw the t-shirt at him and retreated into the bathroom for a quick shower. He stopped briefly on his way to the bedroom and looked at the closed bathroom door. He nervously ran his fingers through his hair. In his mind, it looked like he had overdone the innuendos. He's going to be in her bed in a couple of minutes, something he had been trying to do for the better part of the previous 8 years, but it seemed his jokes had just been a bit too jokey, and he had absolutely no idea what to do from there. He decided to let things go naturally and see what happens, but he couldn't help looking miserably at himself in her full-length bedroom mirror and wondering if the invitation for a sleepover was just that, a sleepover, and if he was destined to be friend-zoned forever.