Love letters… it was the name of the television show and the mode of communication when selecting who stays and who goes. She was just sitting down to read the stack of letters the guys had written late the night before when Victor had knocked on her door wanting to talk. She’d never gotten back to the stack she now held in her hand.
Although she’d been told not to, she sorted the stack and put Ashton’s on the bottom and read Victor’s first.
Hi Sweetheart, I think we’re all going to be sore in the morning. I consider myself in pretty good shape, but surfing was a workout unlike I’ve ever done. For the most part, it was a pretty fun day. I’m restless tonight and wish I could be with you. I’ll just have to dream of you. Love, Victor
Restless? Yeah, he probably wrote that a half hour before coming down to see her. For the most part, he was a gentleman, and they couldn’t do much wrong with cameras in their faces anyway. But that was poor judgement on her part to even let him in her door.
She decided to write him back right now while she was thinking about him.
Victor, I never should have let you in the door last night. That was wrong of me. Even though you and I both know nothing happened, the other guys don’t. They had every right to get upset.
If we’re going to continue to date, and I hope we will, you need to respect my values. This whole process is really hard for me. I’ve developed feelings for other guys, but nothing changes the connection you and I have.
You’re a gentleman and treat me like a lady, and I love that about you. But part of treating me like a lady is not coming over to my house in the middle of the night.
Which brings up a subject we need to address. I will not have sex with a man until he is my husband. I hope you’re okay with that because if not, we can’t go any further with this relationship.
I’m not being presumptuous and insinuating you’ll want to marry me someday, I just need you to know that if you don’t marry me, we won’t be sleeping together.
I’ll understand if you walk away today. If that’s what you expect at the end of this process, there’s nothing further to say. I hope you don’t. I really like you. I just need you to respect my values, okay?
I look forward to getting closer as we continue this journey together. Sincerely, Michelle
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Brock’s letter was next. He must have been tired, because it was short.
Michelle, surfing today was really fun and I’m glad our team won at ultimate frisbee. Missed you at the campfire… -Brock
Uh… wow. Okay. All the guys had seen her kissing Ashton and they weren’t happy with her. They probably weren’t happy with Ashton either. She didn’t stick around to find out but made an excuse that she needed to go change into some dry clothes, said goodnight, and disappeared.
Michelle didn’t regret kissing Ashton but probably should have handled the situation more tactfully. Sneaking off in the dark, removing her sweatshirt and sandals, and going swimming with Ashton. Yeah, probably a bad idea. Still… woah. What a kiss.
This was part of the process. Get to know the guys, see if there’s a connection, and theoretically fall in love. She started this show skeptical that could ever happen. This was just for fun. Suddenly her heart disagreed.
She had felt an instant connection with Ashton, then pushed those feelings aside when she met Victor. She’d shoved those feelings under the bed in a locked box and thrown away the key when Ashton had called her out in front of the other guys. But gradually she realized she was silly to be angry at Ashton for that. Somehow in the past few weeks her walls around her heart had crumbled and Ashton had kicked the stones away before she could build them back up.
Then she’d sat up half the night talking with Victor and was confused again. Ashton trying to throw a punch at Victor had made her angry. Was she angry at Ashton? Victor? Or herself?
She set Brock’s note aside and picked up the next, and the next, and the next. They were all about the same. Short. Had fun. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Maybe we can spend some more time together. She opened Ashton’s note last.
Michelle, Michelle, Michelle, what have you done to me? How am I supposed to sleep tonight, Babe? My life is pretty much focused on my surfing, so I don’t date much. That’s one of the reasons my agent wanted me to do this show. I don’t think he counted on me falling for you. I certainly never expected to. That was seriously an amazing kiss. I think I’m gonna go downstairs to the weight room and work out for a while. I hope you have a wonderful night. I’ll see you in the morning. -Ashton
Yeah, he saw her in the morning, alright. While she was still in her pajamas. And still had Victor at her house. That had been a really bad choice to let Victor in her house. How was she supposed to explain that?
Michelle’s heart tugged her away from that thought and remembered the anger and hurt on Ashton’s face when he saw her with Victor. She concluded that either Ashton was falling in love with her or he had a bad temper problem. She hoped it was the prior but still needed to address the latter. She reached for a pen and sheet of paper.
Ashton, nothing happened between me and Victor last night. At all. I never should have let him in the door. That was wrong of me. I’ve asked him not to come over again the middle of the night.
I understand why you got upset, but please don’t lose your temper like that again. Just because you and I let ourselves get carried away in an amazing kiss doesn’t mean I don’t still have strong feelings for Victor. I’m sorry if you don’t want to hear that, but it’s true.
You asked me to give you a chance, and I’ve opened my heart to you. But you nearly lost that chance when you pushed past me to throw a punch at a guy I care about. I wouldn’t let him hurt you, either. Although, I’m pretty sure he never would. He’s too much of a gentleman for that.
Anyway, I want to continue to get to know you better, so I hope you stay but I understand if you don’t. Sincerely, Michelle
Michelle tucked Ashton’s letter into an envelope, wrote his name on it, and set it on top of the pile, which contained only two letters. She wasn’t sure what to say to the other guys.