Sleep Watching

Chapter 1

I sit up and stare at the woman lying beside me. She insists that she doesn't snore, but when she is deeply asleep she does. It's not a loud, sleep disturbing snore. It's more of a soft deep snore that hitches when she rearranges her arms. Her snoring is what lets me know that she's actually asleep, not only laying there half asleep like she does some nights.

My girl is special. She doesn't think so, and I wish I could find the people who made her think the things she does and tare them down from their high opinions of themselves. She turns ever so slightly and pulls the blanket over her bare shoulder. I help, pulling more of the over sized blanket over myself in the process.

She doesn't know I'm awake, not when she's so deep in slumber. I like it when this happens, she doesn't shy away from me like she does when she knows. She doesn't think she's as attractive as I think she is, or as smart, or kind, or gentle, or brave. Her friends agree with me, but we don't know how to get her to believe it as well.

Even her mother doesn't know how my girl can think of herself like she does. It's an enigma, she's an enigma. At the thought of my girl's mother, I have to smile. I was so afraid to meet the woman, wondering how she was going to react to meeting her oldest baby's girlfriend. My girl would only insist that she had the best mom in the world, and I understood when I met her.

Back to my girl, since she's the reason I'm awake. Looking out the window, I can see the sky beginning to lighten. It means that soon she'll be awake and getting ready for her day. I only have a little while before she's aware enough and will pull away from me. Already her breathing is ceasing to make her snoring noises.

I slip out of bed and shiver lightly as the cool air of the bedroom hits my naked skin. I am so tempted to wake her up like I had the other morning, this time being easier since we were both already naked from our activities last night. I don't though; I already have too many thoughts on my mind.

Slipping her housecoat over myself, I have to roll the sleeves up so that I can use my hands. The length isn't so bad, but even with the belt tied as tight as I can get it I have to pull the top closed wit the button that she sewed on so that it would stay closed when I wore it.

I leave the bedroom, entering the kitchen where the coffee pot is already going. Most adults would balk at living in the same house with three other couples. We don't, although I did at first. I start a pot of water for tea and the like, since not all of us drink coffee.

Maria and her long time boyfriend Ricky live in the basement, although Ricky isn't a permanent resident. The coffee pot actually belongs to her. Jane and Kevin, who shared the first floor with me and my girl, would be getting up soon as well. Kevin isn't permanent either, since he and Jane have only been dating for five months or so. Elaine and her current lover Amy (it differed every few months or so, depending on the person who caught the younger woman's attention) lived in the attic. Hearing movement and the shower start, I know my girl is up and I start breakfast.

Cooking I can't do, but my girl is a master. So all I do is set stuff out, and sometimes I help if it's something even a child couldn't mess up. I'm paying so much attention to my thoughts and what I'm doing that I don't hear my girl come up behind me.

"You didn't have to get up," She wrapped her arms around me once I came down from my jump. I turn in her loose arms and playfully poke her shoulder.

"I know Lee, but I wanted to." I pouted, looking up at her.

Lee is a large woman. What most people would mistake for fat is actually muscle and big bones. I know, once a little over a year ago Lee got extremely sick and lost a lot of weight. Within a few weeks I could count every rib. It was scary, but you wouldn't know it now by simply looking at her.

Lee grinned at me, "I'm glad you're up." She kissed me softly but pulled away before I could respond. Movement broke our little bubble of peace.

"I guess I should go get dressed," I murmured, stepping out of the circle Lee's arms made.

"Please, I don't feel like sharing today." I blushed as Lee's eyes roved over my form that her giant housecoat hid. I disappeared into the bedroom. From there I could hear Lee as she woke up our other house mates. I giggled, knowing that she wouldn't do as she threatened. Although, she had almost gone through with her threats several times; it was what made the threats believable.

When I left our room a half hour later, I was still the only one awake besides Lee. Maria and Ricky were using each other and the table as pillows. Lee was grinning madly as she made up two large cups of coffee which she then set down in front of the two at the table.

"Wake up lovebirds," My girl is annoyingly awake in the morning, "you both have work to get to."

"I don't go to work for another three hours, I could have slept longer!" Maria whined, beginning t down her coffee. No matter how hot it may be, the woman drinks it like her beloved vampires drink blood.

"She's right," Ricky complained, "why didn't you just leave us alone?"

Lee's face could have been called innocent; the look in her eyes was just plain evil. "Ricky, you're the one that wanted to be out of the house before noon. If you want Maria to drive you home then she has to do so before she gets ready for work."

Elaine and Amy entered the kitchen then and joined us at the table. Jane and Kevin weren't that far behind. Kevin got himself and Jane coffee before sitting down. Amy stayed away from the coffee and glared at Elaine whenever she looked at it. Lee set my tea in front of me and cups of cappuccino in front of the other two without something to drink. Her own drink stayed in the main kitchen while she made breakfast.

Soon plates of food were in front of everyone along with various items to dump on the scrambled eggs Lee had made. Toast and juice joined the table before Lee sat beside me.

"Thanks Lee," Elaine yawned out as she dug into her eggs. Jane and Amy echoed it, followed by Maria and Kevin. Ricky grunted.

"I expect my kitchen to still be here when I get home," Lee commented in response. "Dinner is up to you guys tonight."

"Where are you going?" Kevin asked, sprinkling more hot sauce onto his eggs before scooping it up on a bit of toast.

Lee shrugged, "A meeting with the other teachers after school and then the chess club has our pizza dinner in celebration for our win last Saturday."

"Don't celebration dinners happen after a win?" Ricky added himself into the conversation.

"Usually, but three of the kids had to go straight home and it was agreed that the celebration could wait." Lee slid her hand into mine beneath the table. "We're also going to have a practice before the tournament tomorrow."

"Sounds fun," Kevin replied as he took his and Jane's dishes to the sink, "I hope you guys do well. Pity we can't get the boys to behave like that." Kevin was a counselor at the same high school where Lee teaches Creative Writing and English. He helps coach the boys' soccer team.

"Athletes are different, and running around a field chasing a ball uses more energy than playing a game of chess." Jane added, "Be thankful your kids are old enough to make such a decision on their own." Jane worked at the local daycare and it was mainly for the youngest kids of the rich idiots who didn't want to bother with a single nanny.

"Point," Elaine said as she took her own and Amy's dishes to the sink along with Ricky's and Maria's. "I have to get to class soon." Elaine was a part time student at IUS where she was studying to get her psychology degree.

"So do I," Amy stood and stretched, "Thank you for breakfast Lee. El, do you think you can give me a ride?" Amy was going for her nursing degree. She was almost the exact opposite of Elaine and very protective.

"Sure, race you to the shower?"

"I'll meet you there." They dashed upstairs among the moans of 'TMI' from Jane and Kevin while Lee only shook her head.

"I'm going to head over to the school. Cassie, do you need a ride?" Lee was looking at me and I nodded.

"Sure, just let me grab my things." All I needed was my purse and my laptop. The building where I worked was always opened at six AM, although only the janitorial staff was there.

"Okay, I'll meet you by the van." Lee is the only person I know who owns three cars. I mean bought and paid for, no money owed and fully insured kind of own. A black truck, a black and chrome motorcycle, and the van. She only drove the van when the right of us went out together or the chess club was doing something.

"Meet you there," I purposely sauntered out of the kitchen, knowing that I was being watched. Two hard slaps were heard along with Lee's laughter. Yep, I still had it.