It wasn’t morning yet, but dawn was fast approaching or at least that’s what the numbers glowing from her alarm clock told Olivia. With a jolt of panic, she remembered she hadn’t bothered to check on the fire in her living room nor had she turned off her tree’s lights. Glad that Michael’s arm as now resting under his chin, she slid off the bed and grabbing her big sweatshirt she went downstairs.
After putting the fire off in the chimney and unplugging the tree’s lights, she went to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. It hit her, after ten minutes of staring at the microwave’s green numbers tick by 4:05, 4:06….4:15 a.m., that she was stalling. Not because she wasn’t eager to get back upstairs with Michael, but because Olivia was waiting for the tsunami type of waves filled with guilt to drown her. She even closed her eyes but nothing came.
It also fell down upon her that Emilia hadn’t been waiting for her downstairs. Her ears listened for any noise from the basement, but there was only silence. All she heard was the sound of her floorboards creaking as what used to be her Granma’s house too seemed at peace during this cold night.
Was she really gone for good? Now that Olivia had done what her ghost had been hinting this entire time?
Of course not. We didn’t even say goodbye.
As disturbing as it sounded, Olivia had begun to get used to Emilia’s presence, but still something told her she hadn’t seen the last of the ghost, yet.
Olivia took one last gulp of water and left her kitchen. Jittery and with a flutter in her stomach, she made her way back up to her room and felt a tug of her heart as she saw the man currently occupying half her bed. Michael’s short hair was tousled, his hand now spread over the spot she’d just left empty and his shoulders moving slightly with each exhale. Clearly the man was sound asleep and hadn’t noticed her absence.
Well, she decided, he is going to certainly notice my coming back to bed. Stripping off her sweatshirt, she lifted his arm and snuggled closer to him. In a second, Olivia felt Michael stir while her hands had begun caressing his chest and traveling further down until his eyes snapped open and he focused on her face.
“Funny, you were about to do the same in my dream.” His sleepy voice drawled as his arm brought her closer to him.
“Oh, well, I better not interrupt your dream then. I’ll just go back to sleep.” Olivia proved she wanted to do nothing of the sort, as her legs wrapped around his. She could see the way his eyes had clouded with need as her hand continued to tease him into madness.
“Like hell you are.”
Before she could utter a response, his mouth took hers and they made love for the second time just as her bedside clock was signaling half past four in the morning.
Michael couldn’t remember the last time he’d woken up without feeling the need to just go back home and see what had happened the night before as just good, healthy sex with the woman he’d been seeing. This time, aside from relaxed and extremely elated, he had no plan whatsoever to leave the woman whose arm was snaked around his waist and whose left cheek rested on his chest. In fact, if other basic needs such as food and maybe a shower weren’t necessary, he’d vote for them to spend the rest of the day cuddled together in bed. He wanted to learn more about her, more about her childhood, her friends, her friendship with Tracy, her job, what she liked, what she hated.
Michael had gotten a pretty good picture the day of the wedding. For example, how she abhorred whenever someone called her Ollie. According to Olivia, it sounded condescending, like people were dealing with a five year old. And the name Ollie reminded her of a dog’s name.
By what Camie shared with them every night during dinner, Ms. B was a very good and smart teacher. She certainly had been making an effort to understand today’s trends among her students but she wasn’t a pushover either. If you didn’t work hard, according to Camie, you could get on Ms. B’s bad side.
Michael certainly admired her initiative to start the book club at the high school. Like she told him during the wedding, maybe their kids weren’t reading the greatest works of literature but they were reading and it was better than for them to be immersed in all the junk T.V. offered these days. At least by reading they expanded their vocabulary, and they would expand their interest as they grew up. Although, Olivia had admitted with a blush, she, too, loved all those young adult fantasy novels.
Olivia stirred in her sleep but snuggled even closer to Michael. God, even while sleeping she took his breath away. Her chestnut brown hair tousled on her pale back, her long legs interlaced with his, the rest of her delicious body clinging to him as if even in her dreams, she didn’t want to let him go.
Michael didn’t want to let go.
As much as he tried to fight them off, darker thoughts began to cloud what had been a very bright awakening. What would happen when reality caught up with them? When Olivia remembered why she and Michael could not do this everyday. What then? He’d been in a foul mood ever since she’d dismissed him at the Newseum. It would be even more devastating to walk away now.
But that’s what Jerry had grimly warned him about. This could either end with her leaving her boyfriend and choosing Michael or Michael being left alone to pick up the pieces. A shudder travelled down his spine as for the time being, it looked like he would be the one losing his heart when he would have to back off.
“A penny for your thoughts? Or food. I am starving.”
Olivia’s sleepy drawl put a stop to his musings.
“You owe me a lasagna, remember?”
“I did promise to cook you dinner, didn’t I? Well, I guess I got sidetracked. Not that I mind it at all.”
When his stomach did a slow grumble, Michael realized now he could really use breakfast.
“So, what would you like to have?”
“Well, Ms. Beckett, if you bragged about making a lasagna then I don’t even want to think what you can come up with for breakfast.”
“Oh please, lasagna is the easiest dish of all.”
“Tell that to the culinary impaired.”
“Okay, you’re right. Uhm….Oh I know! Migas!”
“What the hell is that?”
Olivia let out a breezy laugh and after planting a hard kiss on his lips, she jumped out of bed and began dressing up in the clothes Michael had skillfully removed last night.
When Michael remained lying in bed with his arms behind his head, Olivia gave him one of those looks he was sure she reserved to her students whenever they refused to be a part of the class.
“Well? What are you waiting for? I know you can’t cook but surely you can handle plates, glasses, juice, milk, coffee?”
“So, not the type to bring me breakfast in bed?”
“Certainly not after the first night. Let’s see how you behave for night number two.”
Just hearing her say that gave him hope. Trying to appear reluctant he got up, searched for his dry jeans. With his shirt in one hand he grabbed Olivia’s arm and pulled her to him. He just wanted to show her just how much of an effort getting out of bed was being for him.
Then, a thought crossed his barely functioning mind.
Twenty more minutes won’t kill me.
Taking her by surprise, he hooked one if his arms under her knees and while Olivia pretended to avert her face to his kisses, she let out a chuckle when Michael threw both their clothes once again to the floor and buried both of them in her comfortable mattress.