Honestly, it sounds to me like you want her to know how you feel, but you don't want to lose her as a friend. My advice would be to just be honest - what you call being an *** might just be what works. Not saying you lay literally everything on the table, but if you tell her that you'd like to be more than fiends, get her thoughts on it, then tell her that you want to remain friends regardless, i don't see how you could lose. She should respect your candor, at least, & maybe you're putting too much thought into this. Been there myself many times! Good luck!