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She was warmly cocooned in the bed when Alastair emerged from the shower. Jaws was tucked up next to her, lying full length along her side with his sweet little face on her shoulder. He was snoring softly.
Alastair was wearing a clean, white t-shirt and the bottoms to the flannel pjs she was half wearing. He was rubbing a towel energetically over his red hair, drying it into bristly spikes on his head, military style. The hair was so short on his well shaped head that just the brisk rubbing with the towel appeared to have dried it completely.
He threw the damp towel over the back of one of the kitchen chairs and headed for the couch. "Sweet dreams."
Angie realized he intended to sleep on the tiny couch. Seconds earlier she had been struggling with the idea that he would join her on the bed. Now she was feeling anxious about him sleeping on the couch. She was an emotional train wreck.
Alastair extinguished the lamp next to the couch and the room fell into relative darkness, lit only by the flickering amber light of the fire. The soft crackling sounds of the wood in the fireplace made the room feel cozy and safe.
Angie fought against lethargy and mentally pounded herself for her reluctance to invite him into the bed. He didn't deserve to be scrunched onto that tiny couch all night. He was just being a gentleman. A truly superior trait that Angie had seen much too little of from the men she'd encountered during the paltry span of her dating experience. And being a gentlemen of apparently the highest order, why shouldn't he sleep in the bed and be comfortable. She was comfortable in the bed.
She bit her bottom lip.
Weakness was an alienemotion to her. She had always despised weakness and had spent a lifetime stiffening her spine and forging onward through whatever pain life dealt her. But there she was dithering pitifully over whether to invite a really great guy, whose presence on the couch proved he had class, to share the bed with her. It wasn't as if she was going to let him ravish her. Although the idea did have merit. She smiled in the dark. It was just sleeping. Sleeping was totally innocent. She forcefully pushed away all thoughts of how warm he would be and how good he'd feel stretched out on the small bed next to her.
Damn! You stop those nasty thoughts right now Angie Marie Peterson. That's the entire trouble here. You have the mind of a street walker and the experience of a nun. And now poor Alastair has to pay the price because you're afraid you won't be able to control yourself.
Angie frowned into the night and stiffened her spine in anger at herself. "That's just silly." She muttered aloud. Then she opened her mouth to invite him to bed.
A soft snore floated to her from the couch. She slammed her mouth closed and sighed. Then she got up and stripped the comforter from the bed, carrying it to the couch and draping it over him carefully so as not to wake him. She stood looking down at him for a minute while he slept. He looked pale and she wondered if that was his natural color, being a redhead, or if it was from being sick. The end of his nose was still a little red.
She reached down and touched his forehead and he did feel a little warm. But then she didn't know if that was normal for him too. His lashes formed two thick fringes across his cheeks and made her smile. He looked like a cute little boy when he slept. A tender feeling sat lightly on her heart for a brief flicker of time but she shook it off. They were virtual strangers dealing with a calamitous situation that was going to take every ounce of their attention and intuition to fix. She didn't have time for any soft, cozy heart farts.
She reluctantly returned to the bed, resuming the snuggling position with her new boyfriend. Jaws gave a tiny sigh and settled back to sleep on her shoulder. She kissed his soft head and nestled into the pillow with a sigh. She could get used to this.