Looking back on that moment - as he frequently does - he is amazed that he managed to refrain from kissing her. Her adorable expression; the way her eyes fixed on his; the softness of her voice: It is all etched into his memory. He can see it as clearly as if he had a recording, and he can play it on a loop. And often will.
He remembers, vividly, each second, each heartbeat, each breath; the tension of realising that he owed her so much more than the thanks she had asked for; the overwhelming urge to tell her how beautiful she was - standing there (unsteadily), barefoot and making her demands.
He remembers her drifting towards him, recalls stepping forwards and enclosing her in his arms again, holding her, gently swaying to the music. As her weight rested more heavily against him, he smiled, felt himself falling further and further for her. He breathed her in, softly stroked her back, whispered in her ear that she shouldn't fall asleep yet. He can still feel the shiver that ran through him when her breath danced across the skin of his neck as she responded to ask why not. He laughed then, and he does so every time he replays it.
He wanted nothing more, at the time, than to give in to temptation and touch his lips to hers; to show her that he was sorry; that he was grateful; that he cared about her much more than his stupid self would let him show.
He knows, of course, why he didn't, why he did the right thing and took her home, put her to bed. He knows he wants her to be completely sober when he tells her; he knows he wants to see her want their first real kiss as much as he does. He knows he needs to prove that he is worthy to have her want him. And not to her, but to himself.
He also knows that will never happen.
So, he replays that moment - along with a selection of others - and marvels at his restraint. But, occasionally, he allows himself to imagine that he wasn't so bloody strong and that he did give in to the moment. And it's as breathtaking and brilliant as he knows it would be.
And that has to be enough.