The housemate friends co-existed well together. Alice didn't have to change her routine too much although she felt guilty about Jeff sleeping in the loft instead of in his own bedroom. He moved his dresser up there so he didn't have to live out of his suitcases.
Alice went to work in the morning and sometimes she'd cook dinner in the late afternoons and sometimes Jeff would do the cooking, depending on his day.
Sometimes he went to his office in Miller City, other times he worked out of the loft at home. As Jeff predicted, he and Alice got along well together living in the same house and they enjoyed each other's (platonic) company.
Lauren was amused to learn that her brother was back early and that he was sharing his cabin with her best friend.
"I wouldn't mind having you as my sister in law," Lauren teased when the two longtime friends went out for a drink one night.
"Your brother spends half his life travelling," Alice pointed out.
"So you could have the best of both worlds," Lauren smiled. "Your own independence when he's gone and some intense sex when he's home."
Alice's face turned red. "Stop," she protested. "It's not like that."
But then she remembered the look Jeff had on his face when he saw her half-naked and she began to wonder.
A few more weeks passed and Jeff announced that the Puerto Rico project had been cancelled because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
"Oh," Alice said with some surprise as they sat in the living room listening to music on the stereo. "I guess I should seriously start looking for alternate living arrangements then."
"Why?" Jeff asked.
"You don't need a house sitter anymore if you're not going anywhere," she reasoned.
"I'll be going somewhere eventually," Jeff told her.
"I need to find my own place," Alice determined.
"You're not content here?" He asked with disappointment.
"I'm not sure if I belong here," she reasoned.
"You seem happy to me." Jeff remarked.
"I'm not sure what happiness is anymore," the soon to be divorced woman sighed.
"Everything's going fine," Jeff told her. "We're both staying busy with our own stuff. You're dealing with the divorce. Everything's okay."
"You don't want me to go?"
"It's nice having you here," Jeff said sheepishly. "I've enjoyed the companionship."
"You've been a good friend," Alice concurred.
"We've been having some great talks together," Jeff reminded her.
"I have felt relaxed," Alice admitted.
"Good," Jeff smiled.
"But maybe we're just being selfish," Alice worried. "Going with this arrangement because it's convenient when I should be out looking for a place of my own."
"I don't want you to leave," Jeff said bluntly.
She lifted her eyebrows with surprise. "You don't?"
He blushed and looked away.
"Aren't you sweet?" She smiled
"I've always cared about you, Ali," Jeff admitted. "You've always meant something to me and living together like this has been nice."
"Our solace together?"
"Is it just some stupid fantasy?" Jeff wondered.
"I don't know," Alice said with some confusion.
Jeff let out a sigh. "Anyway," he said. "Just think about it for a while before you start calling the local real estate agents."
"Okay," she agreed. "I will."
The next few weeks remained status quo with the two housemate friends continuing their unspoken dance around the subtle obvious, pretending that they were two housemate friends while ignoring the building electricity forming between them.
One morning, Jeff appeared in the bathroom door which was open. Alice was standing in front of the vanity brushing her teeth. She was wearing pajama bottoms and a tee shirt.
"You're the sexist looking teeth-brusher I've ever seen," Jeff told her.
She remembered that she had a toothbrush in her mouth when she came out of the bathroom bottomless that day. She didn't say anything as she looked at him through the reflection of the mirror but she continued to brush her teeth, putting a little more effort into it so that her body was shaking from the motion.
Alice decided to sway her hips just a little bit more than necessary too. Jeff stepped into the bathroom. He was wearing shorts and a tee shirt and he moved so he was standing directly behind her, looking at her over her shoulder into the mirror. Alice continued to brush her teeth.
"You do know you're sexy, don't you?" Jeff asked quietly.
Alice didn't say anything but she felt her heart skip a beat and her skin heat. She hadn't felt sexy in years.
"I can't get that first day out of my thoughts," Jeff confessed in a low voice. "Seeing you like that."
"I'm just a middle aged divorced house wife now," she mumbled through her tooth brushing.
"You're no such thing," He assured her, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind and daring to kiss the back of her neck. "You are perfect, sweetie."
"You've been alone too long," Alice sighed.
"Yes I have," he agreed, looking at her in the mirror as he tasted her ear through her hair.
"You see me the way you want to see me," She frowned.
"I see you the way you are," He assured her.
"What's that?" She dared to ask.
"Beautiful," He whispered into her ear and she tried not to moan in desperate response.
She felt his hands on her backside and she was surprised when she realized he was tugging her pajama bottoms down her thighs. She continued to brush her teeth and then she felt him rubbing himself against her buns, having let his shorts fall to the tiled floor as well.
"What are you doing?" She whimpered.
"I'm being your friend," Jeff grinned, kissing her neck again while continuing to rub his member against her naked backside
Alice wiggled her hips against his groin. "I kind of like it," she giggled.
"Me too," Jeff smirked, kissing the back of the neck some more.
Alice leaned her head back and Jeff moved his hands down from her stomach and played with the top of her pubic hair. She spit out the last of her toothpaste, set down the toothbrush, used a Dixie cup to wash her mouth out, and then turned her head so they could kiss while she continued to mash her ass against him.
"This is different," she said panting and happy as they made love standing against the vanity with him behind her.
"Will you be my full time permanent house sitter?" Jeff wanted to know though his moans, eyeing her though the mirror.
"Forever," she agreed breathlessly.