With two tubs of Chunky Monkey in a bag and information from Jonnie that Jess was home, Jeremy smiled at the idea of surprising her.
It’s barely eight in the evening; after a whole day of training, he couldn’t wait to see her again. Besides the usual flow of messages and phone calls between them, he hadn’t seen her since their meeting at Volvo. He wanted to personally tell her that he was saying yes to the car company. His agent would be making it official on Monday, but Jeremy wanted Jess to know first.
She could have company over, you know – a guy, maybe. Jeremy refused to be bothered by that thought. He would cherish throwing her date out – if he needed to.
He rang the bell outside Jessica’s apartment building; it was a pretty three-story in Chelsea. Jess answered the door phone.
“It’s me,” was all he needed to say.
Jeremy could hear activity in the background and wondered who Jess had for company.
“Jeremy?” Jess said, surprise in her voice.
“Yeah – got some Chunky Monkey with me,” he answered.
He heard the door buzz while she said, “Wha – uh – come in. My apartment is on…”
Jeremy interrupted her with, “I know – I’ll be right up.”
Jessica stood by her door, shock written all over her face. She had a T-shirt and shorts on and Jeremy couldn’t help but admire those long legs of hers.
“What are you doing here? How in the world did you even know –“ she started to ask as soon as he came close. At the grin on his face, Jessica shook her head and said “My meddling little brother and I need to talk about sharing information with anyone.”
“Hey, I‘m not just anyone “ Jeremy countered as he took her by the waist and gave her a slow kiss. Jessica sighed and thought How can I ever stay mad at him? She leaned into the kiss, totally forgetting that she had company. When they eased apart, they kept smiling at each other.
As they turned to enter her apartment, Jeremy was met with the sight of three women who stood gawking at them – they looked both starstruck and surprised. Her girl friends, Jeremy thought.
Jessica could feel her cheeks turn warm. She looked at Jeremy – he was smiling as he usually did. It did not look like he was embarrassed at all by the sight of strangers looking at him like her friends were doing at the moment.
He did not forget his manners; Jeremy extended his hands to the ladies and said “Hi, I’m Jeremy.”
Pansy sighed, “Yes, you are” and laughed. Christine smiled and said, “Nice to finally meet you.” Karin grinned and added, “We didn’t know you were coming.” They introduced themselves – Pansy with the Brit accent, Christine was from Spain and Karin from Sweden.
“I hope I didn’t interrupt your evening,” Jeremy apologized. Her friends started talking at the same time, telling him that it was nothing, that he was welcome and that they weren’t doing anything special. Jeremy laughed.
Jessica took the ice cream. When she came back, Jeremy was telling them about their childhood. Jess cringed a bit – her friends were definitely charmed by him.
When Jeremy turned to look and smile at Jessica, her friends became quiet. There was no mistaking that look he was giving Jess. He is so into her, thought Karin with a sigh. Karin looked at Pansy and Christine and a wordless thought was communicated.
“Well, it was time for us to leave anyway,” Karin said. Pansy and Christine started gathering their things. Jessica glowered at them. She knew exactly what they were doing – they’d decided to leave her alone with Jeremy!
Jeremy smiled and decided he liked her friends. He knew exactly what they were doing. Pansy winked at him as she passed – and Jeremy nearly laughed. Yes, he definitely liked her friends.
“Maybe we can go out sometime – together and with some of the guys from the team?” he suggested.
“Only if you bring Shump,” Pansy said grinning, making the others laugh.
When Jess followed them out the door, she hissed “You’re leaving me?”
“Honey, you are welcome,” Pansy said, giving Jess a hug.
Jeremy stood in the middle of the room and because Jess had her back to him and her friends glanced his way, he mouthed a silent “Thank you.” They smiled and understood.
“So…” Jess said and focused her gaze on Jeremy.
“This is a great apartment,” Jeremy commented while he sat down, motioning Jess to join him. Jess sat down on the couch and tucked her legs underneath her – her usual sitting position, Jeremy observed; that much had not changed. She rested her head on her right hand, elbow on the back of the couch. Jess was trying to figure out how it was that Jeremy Lin now sat on her couch on a Saturday evening.
She had the thinking look on, the look on her face when she’s figuring out a math problem or puzzle, Jeremy thought. He reached out to smooth the wrinkle on her forehead. “Don’t frown, Jess,” he said while he closed the gap between them – the kiss was soft and light. She no longer frowned when he drew away. She was blushing.
“What am I going to do with you, Jer? She softly asked, maybe more to herself than him.
“You can start with eating ice cream with me,” Jeremy said.
“Okay,” Jess sighed. “Just because you come with Chunky Monkey doesn’t mean you and Jonnie are off the hook.”
“Your brother loves me,” Jeremy said, enjoying the shift of mood. She was smiling now and he loved how she smiled. “Don’t be mad at him.”
Jess shrugged “I won’t bother – I can never stay mad long enough at him – nor you, for that matter.” She found two spoons and took a tub of Chunky Money out. They ate in silence – like they normally would back in Cali – two spoons and a shared tub.
“I missed this,” Jessica finally confessed.
“The ice cream?” Jeremy asked with a grin.
Jess flicked at his ear, “You know what I meant, Dumbo.”
Jeremy suddenly became serious.
“All those months when I thought you were in Hong Kong – I had hoped you missed me as much as I did you,” he said. Jess could hear the sadness in his voice as he remembered. She had felt so guilty about making him feel that bad.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered, taking him into a hug. Jess could feel her tears well up. Of all the people she knew, Jeremy was the last person she would want to hurt. As her tears fell, she felt Jeremy kiss them away – the softness of it overwhelming her.
Jeremy sighed and breathed in the scent of lavender. He suddenly remembered something.
“Were you ever in a club with your friends? I thought I saw you and I smelled lavender. I kept telling myself that I was just missing you.”
Jessica’s face turned red. Jeremy stared at her.
“You were there with your teammates – surrounded by women,” she tried to explain. “I ran…”
Jeremy shook his head.
“Please stop running away from me, Jess,” he said.
She nodded. Then she felt Jeremy lift her chin. He kissed her – this time it felt like it had an edge to it. He ran his tongue along her lips, waking her up. She kissed him back. When Jess bit his lower lip, Jeremy groaned. Jeremy ran his hands down her hair to rest on her nape. She was still in his arms, half sitting on him and the couch. Jeremy ran his hands down her back. He never wanted to stop. But he knew he had to.
Jeremy slowly eased the passionate kiss into the softest of lip contact. Jess looked radiant, he thought. She had a soft blush on her cheeks and her lips were red and swollen.
He cleared his throat and said “Okay. That hadn’t disappeared.”
“I have good news,” Jeremy shared.
At Jess stare, he continued “Volvo is receiving a confirmation from my agent on Monday. So, congratulations, Miss Man, you just landed Jeremy Lin as your spokesperson.” He had a grin on his face.
Jess shrieked and threw herself to hug him.
Then she suddenly eased back, a seed of doubt in her mind, “Jer, you did not say yes because of us, did you? I mean…” she trailed off.
Jeremy looked at her, grinned and said “Oh yeah, definitely. I did it just for you.”
At Jess’ silence and shocked face, Jeremy stopped. “I’m kidding, Jess. It’s a sound decision – Volvo fits me and I fit Volvo. You were right.”
Jess pinched Jeremy. Laughing, he gave her a hug to say “You did a great job at selling the idea to me – and I’m not just saying that so I could kiss you more.” He could feel Jess’ muffled laugh against his chest and he knew all was well.
“I do not want to outstay my welcome,” he sighed.
“You’re going?” Jess said, disappointment in her voice – it made Jeremy feel happy.
“It’s been a long day,” he answered.
Jess followed him to the door. He kissed her one more time before he said, “I’ll pick you up tomorrow.”
She frowned, “I have to go to church.”
“I know – Hillsong, remember?” Jeremy said with a little smile.
“I will kick my brother’s butt when I see him,” Jess muttered, before Jeremy gave her a hug and a kiss on the head to say goodbye.