:: previous – Love in the Afternoon
I awaken in bed, incapable of moving my body.
Every muscle is tender, and the stupid music playing, the culprit for interrupting my sleep, feels like knives stabbing my brain.
“What is that?” I force myself upright, scanning the room. Everything is murky. “Great. Where’s my glasses?”
Shitty eyes. Maybe it’s time to get that procedure like Dad said.
“Mili?” Misa yawns beside me.
No one calls me that except mom. How did Misa know?
“Hey…” I whisper, squinting to see better. My glasses are on her face.
“Hi.” She finds my hand across the blankets, giving me a comforting squeeze. “You need your glasses. I had weird dreams with them on.”
Carefully, she slips them on my face. Her drowsy gray-blue eyes sparkle in the moonlight.
“Thank you, Misa.”
“Mmhm.” Seconds later, she’s dozing again.
I pull the blankets over her bare shoulders, admiring her hair sprawled out like dark tentacles across my pillows. “Sleep well, beautiful.”
Still can’t believe we spent the entire afternoon and evening together in here, stopping only when the door guy came, and to eat dinner.
No words can express how Misa Honey makes me feel.
Even with her here now, sharing my bed that we made love in ten times, I miss her gentle voice, our talks, her hugs, and kisses. The way her eyes look closed when she laughs—
Agh, that stupid music again.
I throw my shorts on and follow the sound into the living room.
A black rectangle sings and glows on the coffee table. Misa’s phone. It’s late for anyone to call now.
I look closer.
What fucking nerve, I’d kick him in the throat for calling her. Didn’t forget what he did to mom either, slipping her pills that made her lose her mind. Igniting absolute chaos here in mine and Misa’s life.
Idiots like Timothy call women this late for a reason.
Misa’s not yours.
My finger hovers over the accept button to let his ass know—
Hmm… Do I really want to answer my girlfriend’s phone without her permission? “If I have to ask…” I put her phone face down. At least that way I don’t have to see his name.
My phone chimes from the kitchen counter. “Sounds like a motion alert.” I look out the window by the front door.
Across the way, a heavyset man in a dark suit and tie tries to look through Misa’s window. Her blinds are partially open, but it’s dark inside.
What the fuck is he doing?
He jiggles the handle to her new security door, but it’s locked. He steps back and types on his phone.
Misa’s phone rings. That can’t be…
I head over to check it.
I sprint to my bedroom.
Misa’s sitting up in bed, holding the blanket to her chest, watching me.
“Hey, you woke up…”
“Yeah…” She yawns. “I kept hearing some music… What are you doing?”
“Checking on that music. It was your phone.”
“Oh. Really?” She looks around, scratching her head. “What time is it?”
Ah, she makes me smile.
“Late. After midnight. Why don’t you go back to sleep?”
“Mm. No… I wanna get my forever sunflower first. It’s in my bedroom. I feel like it misses me.”
“You want to get it now?”
“Yeah. It hasn’t seen me since I’ve been…” She smiles and looks down at the bed, swirling her finger across the sheets. “Over here all day.”
She falls back on the bed, stretching her arms out wide as the sheet falls away, revealing her nudity beneath. I watch her breasts rise and fall as she breathes. Hard nipples, fit legs, smooth, sun-kissed skin dazzling in the moonlight.
Watching her get out of bed is hypnotic.
If that creep wasn’t roaming around outside, I’d jump into bed and make love to her for the eleventh time.
“Be right back.” Misa says, wrapping a gray throw blanket from the armchair over her.
I grab her arm gently, stopping her in her tracks. “You are beautiful, inside and out.”
“Thank you…” She stares at my hand on her arm. “Um. Are you okay?”
“You can’t go over there.” I release my grip. “Not at this moment, at least.”
We crowd by my front door window, pressed against each other like nosey people. The man is still there, typing away on his phone. After a few moments, he jiggles at the door handle again. This time with force.
“Do you know him?” I whisper. Misa says nothing, but her hand trembles on the blinds watching him. “Misa? Who is that?”
“A bad person.”
Her voice is so hushed I can barely hear.
“I don’t know, I just feel it.” The man turns around, looking at my door. Misa slithers out of my grasp and runs to the couch. “Um… His name is P-Pace.” She flicks the lamp on, glances at her phone, then throws it down, disgusted. “He works for Timothy.”
She sits on her knees, hugging a pillow to her chest.
“Hm. What does he do in Timothy’s employ?”
I check the window again. Pace is typing on his phone.
Misa shrugs. “I have no idea. Same for Timothy. He refused to tell me when I asked.”
“Hm. And why does Pace make you nervous?”
“Congratulations. You’ve told the first lie in our relationship.” I smile, trying to lighten the mood. “Don’t worry, I forgive you. I noticed your hand was trembling while looking out the window. Not to mention your body language right now. You’re frightened. The pillow you’re holding is a source of comfort. Like a shield, isn’t it?”
Groaning, Misa buries her face in the pillow, avoiding eye contact.
“Hey, I’m here. I won’t let anything happen to you. Ever.” She nods but keeps her eyes closed. “However, I would love to purge my girlfriend’s heart of fear so that she can live a peaceful existence with her boyfriend.” I get a smile out of her. “Let me help you. Tell me about Pace.”
“Mm… He’s just a sketchy guy. When I met him, I got the feeling that he hurt other people. Bad vibes, you know? Being around him is like standing under a cloud raining acid… and he usually has a gun on him and an earpiece. All of Timothy’s men did.” She sighs. “Ugh, I bet he sent Pace. He already called me a bunch of times. I think he’s looking for me.”
“Why don’t you block him?”
“I do, but he keeps getting through. I don’t understand. I’ve blocked him, like, five times.”
Bastard. He’s messing with her.
“I can fix your phone to stop that. But why is Timothy looking for you?”
“Maybe because I rejected him, I guess? I don’t know. Last time I saw him he took me on his enormous yacht, like out of this existence expensive, but I felt sick to my stomach being there. More bad vibes. Took me forever to convince Timothy to let me go home. I lied and said my moon time arrived. Cramps and all that.”
“Convince? He wouldn’t let you leave when you told him the first time?”
“No. He didn’t believe me because he had just finger—” Misa pauses, blushes, and shakes her head. “Never mind. He just didn’t believe me.”
I know what she was about to say. That prick.
“When was this again?”
“Uh, I think that was when you sent me that text about the Titanic, and trust. Yeah, that’s right, I thought it was so weird you sent that, considering I was out on the water. I didn’t know the Titanic received warnings about an iceberg before it hit one. I love Earth history.”
“Ah, I remember that.”
“Yeah. It always feels like you’re reading my mind. You just know things about me. Like weird timing or something.” She laughs. “Unless you spied on me.”
No wonder she got the top score on her placement test. Sharp mind.
“Maybe we’re just in tune with each other’s vibes. We live next to each other, after all.” I go to the window again. Pace is gone. I step out and check the lot. Just my truck and Misa’s car are here. “Looks clear outside. Where’s your key? I’ll get your flower.”
“In my purse.” She digs through her bag on the coffee table. “Here.” She hands me the key. “But I’m going with you.”
“No, you stay here.”
“Why? You said he left, right?”
“Misa, this is non-negotiable.”
“Then we’re going to have a fight, Emilian. It’s my home anyway, and I don’t want to be left here alone without you.”
I don’t want to fight. We’ve been through that already. It hurts too much and would also mean no sex. I’m not sure I can survive on jerking off for another year.
“Fine. But you stick with me.”
While Misa throws on one of my t-shirts, I grab my gun out of the safe in my closet. If things escalate with Timothy’s friend, a man of his size won’t fight me, but he would shoot, assuming he’s carrying.
Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
. . .
Misa wraps her arm around mine as we leave.
I love her touches, calling me Mili. Her happiness is contagious. If I could bottle it up and drink it daily, I’d never have a bad day in my life. Or maybe that’s how it feels when I’m with her.
“My flower is in the bedroom.” Misa whispers.
We get inside her apartment but keep the lights off. Don’t want to show any sign of activity inside in case Pace is still lurking around.
“There you are!” Misa whispers excitedly. The sunflower leaps at the sound of her voice from its sleeping position on the windowsill. “Ooh! I missy you sooo much.” Its yellow petals glow as it rubs against her hand, completely smitten with her company.
“What do I do if he comes back?” she asks me. “Or Timothy?”
“They won’t. Not after this incident.”
“But how do you know? Pace was trying to get in here. What if you didn’t get my new door installed today?”
I hold her close. The thick stem of her sunflower winds around our arms, getting in on the embrace too.
“I know, because I’m going to handle them.”
I can see their ends now. The bigger guy will be fun.
“What are you saying?” I feel her hand fall to my waist. Our eyes meet and I know she feels my gun. She backs away. Both her and her sunflower stare at me. “Emilian?”
“I meant it when I said I want you forever.”