“Can you help me?” I blurt out.
He blinks. “Help you how?”
“Help me be more like you.”
Danny throws his head back and laughs. “Why on earth would you want to be more like me? Just be yourself. You seem like a pretty cool person.”
“I’m too shy, and I don’t know how to ask for what I want.”
“You did it pretty well just now,” he points out.
“That’s because I’m desperate.” I bite my lower lip and let out a sigh. “Never mind.”
He holds up his hands. “Whoa, whoa. What is it that you want?”
“I’m really inexperienced,” I say. “It’s embarrassing. I see you all confident, and I wish I could have that kind of confidence.”
“You have plenty of confidence. You’re the absolute boss of spreadsheets.”
“But I know nothing about what to do between the sheets.”
Danny smiles. “Oh, is that all? You can get experience in the bedroom. That’s easy.”
“That’s what I’m saying. It isn’t easy. I don’t even know where to start.”
Now his face morphs to confusion. “What do you mean?”
I straighten my shoulders. Might as well confess everything. “I’ve never even kissed anyone. Like a real kiss, I mean.”
He studies me. “You really haven’t kissed anyone?”
“Go ahead and say it,” I mutter. “I’m the biggest nerd you’ve ever met.”
“No. I think you may be the most genuine person I’ve ever met. You’re not letting yourself be talked into something you don’t want to do.”
I falter. “But that’s the point. I do want to kiss someone.”
“Would you want to kiss me?” Danny’s question isn’t teasing or an offer. It comes out as a genuine inquiry.
My huffed-out laugh is loud and fast. “Yes. I mean, no, that’s not right.”
I can’t believe I’m talking about kissing with Danny while he’s wearing only boxers and looking so kissable I could die from … something. Desire or shame, not sure which. It could go either way.
Right now, it’s looking like shame, since I’m aghast that I managed to ask my crush for help.
This is going to implode. I’m going to lose my job and then be blackballed from ever working again. And …
I take a deep breath. I’ve come this far, and I’m ashamed enough as it is to both be a virgin and be asking one of my new bosses for help. I’m not going to leave here without having done my best to plead my case. Except …
“I’d like to kiss you, but I wouldn’t want you to feel guilted into it,” I say.
“Fair enough,” Danny says. “But that isn’t what I meant. I’m just trying to figure out where you’re coming from. You want me to help you find someone else to kiss.”
Now or never.
“Yes, and I want you to teach me how to kiss. And how to have sex.”
Danny chokes on his coffee but recovers quickly. “Like, be a sex tutor?”
“Jesus. I need a moment.” He puts his cup down and takes a deep breath. “Do you have any idea how enticing the idea of being someone’s first is? At least to a guy like me?”
“So will you help me? Because the only dates I’ve been on have sucked. I’m not having any luck at all.”
He rubs a hand over his face. “I’m trying to figure out what it is you’re asking. What exactly do you want me to teach you, and how? Because I’m not fucking you,” he adds quickly. “I mean, you’re plenty fuckable. But I’m not the right one for you. You should save that for someone you care about.”
“You don’t have that kind of restriction.”
“I don’t do feelings or commitments. So the emotional part of sex doesn’t matter to me.”
“I don’t want it to matter for me, either. I’m sick of this.” I gesture at myself helplessly.
He’s silent for a long moment. Then he shakes his head. “I’m sorry, but I think it’s a bad idea. I can’t do it.”