Chapter 13: Good Night
Have you ever felt someone stare at you, the weight of their gaze like two fingers pressing into your skin? Paranoia creeps into your head until it controls all of your thoughts. You become hyper aware of everything you are doing. Every breath, every heartbeat, every crack of unmoisturized skin, every imperfection, every strand of hair that is out of place, all of it comes under the microscope of your mind's eye.
I awoke before I opened my eyes and laid there in self-made darkness, feigning sleep. I could feel Iain watching me and it made my heart race. I wanted to know what he saw. Do I look okay or is my hair sticking to my face and covered in last night's sweat? Is my makeup still in place or is it smudged and crusty around my eyes? Should I let him know that I'm awake or should I let this play out? Is it creepy to watch someone while they sleep or is it a little cute?
It wasn't just his heavy stare that I felt. Every line of his muscular body pressed against mine in a hot, hard line. My sleeping shirt never felt so thin. The heat of his skin slipped underneath the barely there barrier. That wasn't the only thing that had slipped through. Much like previous nights, his hand splayed across my back. Unlike previous nights, it didn't rest lightly, loosely thethering me to him. His strong arm pulled me as close as it could until I was firmly against him.
His leg slipped through my own so that my core was fully exposed to-
Everything in my mind ground to a halt as I felt Iain's lips on mine. Soft and smooth, they brushed against mine in the faintest kiss. My eyes snapped open on their own in a look that practically screamed "THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE!" My mind, however, wasn't on the same line of thought. My mind scribbled through a mess of tangled limbs and unfulfilled desires. I wanted more. I wanted a taste and I took one.
I pushed forward until our lips interlocked and I greedily sucked his bottom lip into my mouth. His tongue traced a line across my upper lip. The hand that wasn't desperately grabbing his shirt, ran through his hair. The short locks felt like velvet as I ran my digits over them. He ground himself against me, a delicious appetizer for the meal to come.
A part of me knew this was wrong. The quietest voice, the angel on my shoulder, urged me to stop, to pull myself away from him and his lips. I couldn't bring myself to listen to her. I bucked forward to gain the friction I desired. He groaned, a low exotic sound that started deep in the back of his throat, into my mouth. It vibrated over my lips and gave my tongue the perfect opening to taste him. God did he taste good. His tongue pushed back against mine in a dance for dominance. His mouth. My lips. His tongue. My hands. His skin. Our bodies. Slowly, we melted into one, two headed, eight limbed, monster.
"Wake up," Iain's voice called to me.
No. I refuse. If this is the dream, and God please don't let it be a dream, I don't want to wake up. I submit a formal petition to never wake up again. Ever. Iain's body rolled over mine, pinning me to the bed. I wrapped my legs around his waist, trapping him to me. I chewed him up with my thighs.
No fuck you. Go back to sleep. Just let me have this. I've been so good. I have earned thi-
I awoke from sleep for a second time that day feeling more disoriented than someone waking from a coma. Iain's clouded blue eyes were the first thing I saw before the regret instantly set in. That quiet voice screamed now replaying the dream as a cautionary tale. I couldn't let that happen. I wouldn't let that happen. I had common decency. And self control. And discipline. And underwear so soaked through I would for sure have to change it.
For a second I thought things would play like they did in my mind. That Iain would lean forward and kiss me again. Or, at least, he would try and I would rebuff him, full force. Life had essentially granted me a second chance. It gave me an opportunity to not give in to my base desires and evaluate the situation from a logical standpoint. And, this time around, I would make the right choice, the appropriate choice.
Not that it came to that. Iain leaning forward to kiss me wasn't even on the table. Wishful thinking had placed it in the forefront of my mind, but it wasn't in the realm of possibilities. More than anything he just looked really concerned.
"You have to stop doing that," Iain said with a strain in his voice.
"Wha-what are you talking about?" I wondered.
"Seriously?" he asked. Yes, I'm serious. I'm not making jokes at-what time is it? THREE!? I am not making jokes at THREE in the Goddamn morning.
"What?" the only response my sleep addled brain could muster.
"You're…." he dithered on what word to say until he settled on, "moaning."
Now, I am fully awake and fully mortified. I'm practically drowning in the heavy scent of my own arousal and I just pray that he can't smell it.
"No-N-no I'm not," I denied.
"Not anymore," He stated.
"I am so sorry. You know, my mom tells me I talk in my sleep, but I've never really noticed. I mean, I guess it would be hard to notice since I'm asleep and all," I laugh nervously. "I hear sleep talking is a pretty common thing and," Iain puts a finger lightly on my lips and, boy, do I want to taste it. Not that I would. Obviously.
"What were you dreaming about?" He asked. Well I can't answer that question for obvious reasons.
"N-nothing. I mean, not nothing, obviously I was dreaming about something, but I, uh, can't remember," I stutter out my lie through nervous lips. I try to my damnedest not to reconcile the image of the man in front of me and the one in my dreams, and yet I want nothing more than for the hand on my face to slip lower.
It is plainly evident that he doesn't believe me, but he is kind enough to let it go. He wasn't, however, kind enough to let me face go. He rested his hand on my cheek, running his finger in circles over my temple. My demons were whispering the naughtiest things in my ears as I stared back into bottomless blue eyes.
A knock at the door saves me. I use the word "save" very loosely here. When your facing demons there are only two things that can save you, an act of God or the devil himself. And God certainly wasn't knocking on my door at three in the morning.
Littereally leaping at any excuse to leave me bed, I practically long jumped off my bed to get the door. Expecting to see Sammi on the other side, the dark, empty hallway confused me. Had it been my imagination? Am I even awake? Because if I am not awake there is a long list of things I'd like to do to the man in my room.
Another knock echoed in the apartment, this one sounding far less civilized without my door blocking the noise. It was like someone had kicked our door with the full intent of knocking it down. Oh fuck.
"Open the door. I know you're in there."
The slurred words could only belong to Jon. He wasn't yelling, yet, but he was already being belligerent. Sammi's door still remained closed and I foolishly assumed it meant she hadn't woken up yet. But just as I turn to get my phone, and call off campus security on Jon's drunk ass, her door opens.
The sleepy woman rubbed at her face as she peered at me through bleary eyes. In the darkness, I can make out her form, but its backlit from the desk lamp in her room.
"What is going on?" Sammi asked.
Jon heard her. And I'm sure the entire complex heard him. Iain certainly did. He trudged up behind me looking just as tired as Sammi but far more irritated. First I wake him with my highly inappropriate dreams and now he has to deal with 150 pounds of bullshit pounding on our door at three in the goddamn morning. Unfortunately for him, his sleep wasn't my priority tonight. Tonight I needed to do everything I could to keep that door firmly shut with us safely on one side and Jon on the other.
"I KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE! I HEARD YOU! COME OUT HERE! PLEASE! PLEASE I NEED YOU! I FUCKED UP! I GET IT OKAY?"
It wouldn't be long before our neighbors start poking their heads out of their rooms to see what was going on if he kept yelling.
"She isn't here, Jon," I call out while staring at Sammi.
"Don't lie to me you bitch," Jon growled through the door. "Let me in."
I was certainly lying. And I do have a tendency to be a bitch. I was more than happy to let comment. Sammi, on the other hand, is always full of righteous indignation. Her face contorted from worry to rage as she geared up to yell something obscene back. It took all of my speed to slap my hand across her mouth before she proclaimed the truth behind my lie. Her first muffled words were loud enough for us to hear, but too quiet to be heard beyond the barrier of the door.
Equal parts stunned and annoyed Sammi wrenched my hand from her face and marched back into her room. She motioned for me to follow before closing her door. The extra barrier gave us privacy from both Job and Iain. Which is somewhat of a shame, because Iain had delivered solid advice up to this point.
Her room was a mess. It look like sadness manifested itself into a physical form and vomited over everything. The waste basket overflowed with used tissue. And the white cloths made an unkept pyramid on the floor next to her bed.
Pictures of Jon were ripped down from their spots on the wall leaving behind only the tacs that once held them up. The bare white holes their absence left in picture collages was depressing. At her desk a notebook sat half bereft of pages while crumpled up notes littered the floor around it.
"Look," Sammi spoke quietly. "I'm going to go out there and talk to him. It's my fault he is out there."
"Look," I mimicked her. "No you're not. It's his own damn fault that he is out there. He is the one that was being a fu-" I amended my sentence. She didn't look downhearted enough without me insulting the man she clearly - and for no discernable reason - still loved. "rude and inconsiderate then he drove out here when he realized what he lost."
"I appreciate everything you've done for me, but" No. No. No. No. No. No. No "buts". You clearly don't. If you appreciated me you would have broken up with him for good 7 fights ago. If you actually listened to me you wouldn't be in credit card debt up to your rose colored covered eyeballs from paying off his bills. If you could think about anything other than yourself you wouldn't have let this terrible ABUSIVE relationship come between you and your friends. You wouldn't go running back to him every time he lied about hating himself without you when really you are just his main source of income and the only person who would put up with all of shit. "I need to do this."
I almost couldn't process it. Was she going to break up with him? Finally? After all this time?
"Are you brea-"
"I don't know."
I wanted to shake her hard enough to give her shaken baby syndrome. I wanted to slap her until she realized that was she was doing was stupid. Talking to him is all good and dandy when you have resolve. Don't just walk out there and let him twist the situation into being your fault like he always does. Don't let him beg his way back into your pocketbook.
"No," I said quietly. "You can't keep doing this to yourself."
"You don't get it. I love him," Sammi said. "It isn't like with you and Ian. He loves me back and I want to fight for what we have."
"Of course it's not like Iain and I," I shot a furtive glance at the door. "Our situation is completely different. You know that."
"Your other Ian," Sammi clarified.
Normally when she made snide Ian comments after I attacked Jon they would hurt. It would feel like someone gut punched me or tied a noose around my heart. When she first started to doing it, it would end the conversation. I would leave in an angry huff and storm off to my room. (And, between you and me, I could call Ian and cry afterwards because I am weak). But as Sammi and Jon's relationship grew more grotesque, I learned to bottle that pain and power through it to be there for some who tried desperately to push me away, someone who needed me there. Now, however, her words didn't even scratch the surface.
Instead I focused on what I do best. Unable to stop someone from making a bad choice, I suggested that they stall on making a bad choice.
"I'm not going to stop you from talking to Jon," mainly because I couldn't physically stop her even if I wanted to. "But you should wait until he's sober. That way you can have a real conversation instead of a drunken one that he may not even remember in the morning."
Sammi scrutinized me like I was a bug under her microscope. It didn't look like she was taking in and processing my words. Which, really, she should have been, because my advice is great. Clearly.
"Then, what are we going to tell him now?" Sammi asked.
Improvising like my life depended on it, I said, "We will say that you are at your parent's place."
"I don't want him showing up at my parent's house though," Sammi complained.
"Your parents live 3 hours away," and he never dienged to drive out there himself before. Even when your car broke down over Thanksgiving break last year and you wanted to see him. But more importantly its THREE IN THE GOD FORSAKEN MORNING. "I don't think he'd make that drive tonight." Unless he is a psycho.
Sammi nodded thoughtfully.
"I really don't want to lie to him. I think I should just tell him that I'll talk to him tomorrow."
I couldn't stop myself screwing up my face in consternation. "He isn't just going to let you answer the door and not talk to him tonight."
Sammi smiled to herself and I could only imagine the logic twisting hoops her mind jumped through to make it happen. "You're right. He'd insist on staying," she said as thought it was a good thing. It was not a good thing.
"So it's settled. I'll tell him to," fuck right off "go home and you'll talk to him later today when he's sober."
Sammi finally agreed and I left her room to face the monster outside our apartment. I was expecting to hear Jon drunk sobbing and mumbling apologies at our closed door. I wasn't, however, expecting Iain to still be in our living area awake and expecting to help.
He caught my shoulder as I walked past him to the front door. His blue eyes rimmed with worry, he leaned in close to whisper in my ear.
He said something, but I didn't hear the words. I felt his breath fan across the shell of my ear. I felt the words rumble in his chest that was pressed against my shoulder. I delighted in the husky tone of his voice.
Snapping myself out of my daze I looked up at him and whispered back.
"What?" as though I couldn't hear him.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm going to tell him that Sammi is at her parents' house."
Iain nodded and followed me like a shadow to the door. I cracked it open, just far enough to let a sliver of light from the hallway fall into the apartment. Jon's near limp body went ramrod straight. He hastily wiped the crocodile tears from his face with the back of his hand and he held out a bouquet of lilies, Sammi's favorite flower. He offered a tentative smile that, I will begrudgingly admit, made him look kind of cute in a lost boy way. I'm sure it would have melted Sammi's heart.
But the stench that wafted off of him in waves ruined the whole picture. He reeked of stale alcohol and poor choices.
Boy was he pissed to see my face peeking through the crack instead of Sammi's. His face practically glowed red in anger as all of his blood rose to the surface. The flowers wilted a bit under his white knuckled grip and his smile transformed into a beastly snarl. He looked dangerous. For the first time, I legitimately worried about my safety around this man.
"Where is Sammi?" he growled.
"She isn't here; She-"
"BULLSHIT!" Jon growled loudly and he slammed on the door harder than he ever had before. The entire door frame shook under his force. It rattled me to my clattering teeth. "Let. Me. In." Jon demanded.
"No. Sammi isn't here; she's at-," I stood my ground, but he wouldn't let me get my lie out.
Jon started pushing against the door with all of his might. I'm small. Some people would say tiny. I'm not a fan of those people. Me and all my weight wasn't even close to Jon's muscle. However, with Iain behind the door, pushing back on it, the door didn't budge. Not even an centimeter.
"How are you doing that?" Jon asked, legitimately confused. He pounded on the door with both of fists. The resounding boom was so loud, I was surprised the door didn't splinter in half.
"She isn't here, Jon. She's at her parent's house," Iain's deep voice rumbled from behind me.
"You! You piece of shit. I don't believe you. Let me in," Jon demanded.
"You come in here and we're going to have a problem."
I thought I was scared before. I didn't know what scared was. Iain's words terrified me. He delivered them in a leathally quiet manner, using a tone I'd only ever heard in horror movies. His voice was dark and sharp like an obsidian knife. I couldn't see the murderous intent in his eyes, but Jon could. It was probably the only thing his alcohol addled mind could process. It wasn't even a full blown threat, but the implications poisoned the air. No one spoke. No one breathed.
"Is she really not here?" Jon asked, clearly as shaken by Iain as I was.
"No," was Iain's monosyllabic response.
"Well…" Jon searched for something to say, but nothing came to mind. He just stood there like an idiot and the silence dragged on until I broke it.
"Go home. Get some rest Jon," I said wearily.
"Yeah," he grouched and turned to walk away.
Looking back on it now, I should have stopped him at that point. While he was in a state of momentary calm, I should have tried to make him wait while I called a taxi. He didn't get into an accident that night, but with how drunk he was, he certainly could have.
The whole ordeal was far too much for me. When Iain and I finally got back to bed I passed out almost immediately. Consciously, I hoped for another pleasant dream. But one thought lurked beneath the surface of my consciousness.
I really didn't know the man in my bed.
A/N: Thanks for baring with the long time between updates. I'm not going to make in promises about when the next chapter will come out. University is demoralizing. Also, if you're annoyed with the Ian/Iain name thing, next chapter is going to be rough. Please accept my apology in advance.