“You don't need to stay, Ruth,” Harry said. He rubbed tiredly at his eyes and moved over to Ruth's desk. “This is one job that can wait until tomorrow.”
Ruth sighed and managed not to jump as Harry rested his fingers against her neck, touching, but not quite touching, the same dance they'd been practising for years now.
“We should have done better,” she said.
“We can always do better,” Harry replied. “And tomorrow is always another day.”
“Same old same old,” Ruth agreed.
“Perhaps not,” Harry said. Something in his voice made Ruth look up, and then blink, surprised, as Harry pressed a chaste kiss to her lips.
“What – what?” Ruth asked, heart hammering in her chest.
“It isn't so late that we couldn't find somewhere to get dinner? If you'd like?”
Ruth knew she ought to at least think about it, turn all the variables over in her mind, but this was Harry and she was tired of never getting anywhere.
“That would be nice,” she agreed and Harry's answering smile was proof enough that she'd made the right call.
“Just let me log off my computer and I'll be right with you,” he said, patting her shoulder as he walked away. Ruth tried to calm her nerves and slowly logged off her own machine but she was already waiting by the doors when Harry was done, unable to stop her nervousness from completely showing.
“It's just dinner,” Harry said, taking Ruth's hand in his.
“No, it isn't,” Ruth replied, making sure to look Harry in the eye. If there was any doubt there, she couldn't find it.
“No, you're right. It isn't. Shall we?”
Ruth nodded and left first, Harry close behind. He took her hand again as they moved outside, which seemed like a big statement even though there were few people to notice at this time of night. But it meant more to Ruth than any declaration would have done and maybe, just maybe, she and Harry could finally spend some proper time together outside of the office.
Judging by the way Harry seemed reluctant to stop touching Ruth all evening, she thought he was definitely ready for the next step too.