# 58 Time

-- by Sarah

 

This is written in response to a challenge from Stephanie. What happens when two adults, who have been on their own for a while, move in together? Some of the habits come directly from two generous friends who shared their own experiences. As usual, I don't own these characters and this is just for fun.

 

Jessica leaned forward in her office chair in an attempt to shrug off George's embrace. "George," she said in an exasperated tone.

He stood up from where he was kneeling behind her and sighed, "What's wrong, Jess?"

"George, I have a headache."

"I'm sorry. Can I get you anything?" he offered.

She sighed, "No," she responded, but then softened her voice, "I just have work to finish."

Clearly disappointed, he lingered for a moment, watching her. She was clearly annoyed about something but he didn't press her. "I'm going to bed then, aren't you coming soon?"

She nodded, still avoiding his gaze.

George left Jessica's home office and went to their bedroom. He stripped down to his boxer briefs, leaving his clothes in a pile on the floor, and slid under the covers. Before turning out the light, he reached over and checked his alarm clock. He pushed the minute button until it was ten minutes in advance. Alone in the dark, he contemplated Jessica's mood. He hadn't seen this side of her since they had been together. After six weeks of living together, she seemed suddenly distracted and cold toward him. Other than working late on a number of days, which she had been completely understanding about, nothing came to mind that should particularly upset her.


He tossed and turned, beating his pillow into compliance and kicking the covers, but still couldn't get comfortable. He looked at the clock which read 2:00 am. He could see that the lights were out down the hall, but Jessica still hadn't taken her place beside him in their bed. Feeling alarm, he arose and walked quietly down the hall. In the dim light from street lights though the living room window, he saw that she was curled up on the sofa. He sat on the edge of the sofa and shook her gently.

 

Without opening her eyes, she bluntly said, "What?"

"Jess, What's wrong? Why are you sleeping here?"

"Go away."

"I will not. Wake up and tell me why you're sleeping out here."

"George, I want some space. Just go back to bed."

"Not without you."

Jessica groaned and attempted to turn over, but he held her shoulders. He finally stood and pulled her up from the sofa. He picked her up and threw her over his shoulder, carrying her down the hallway to their bedroom.

Struggling in his arms, she exclaimed "George! Put me down this instant!"

"Nope, you're coming to bed with me, lassie."

"George!"

"Shhhh, you'll wake the neighbors, lassie," he said as he dropped her onto the bed on her back. She flipped over and tried to crawl away from him but he was too quick and before she knew it, he was on top of her, pinning her to the bed. Unable to see her face clearly in the dark, he held her with one hand while he reached over and turned on the bedside lamp. He couldn't help but laugh when he saw the look on her face. "Ye hae bin radge as a dreich hen aw week. Time tae clear th' air, lass." He looked in to her blue eyes and then lowered his mouth to hers, drawing her into a deep kiss. He smiled to himself that she was unable to resist his kisses, even if she was cross with him.

 

Feeling her relax beneath him, he let go of her arms and put his hands on her face. He stroked her face and then let his hand wander down her body. When he finally came up for air, she smiled up at him. "Aw, there's 'at smile." He rolled off of her and pulled her into his arms. "Now that I have your full attention, tell me what ever is the matter."

She turned her head away and said, "I'm sorry I've been in a mood all week. I'll get over it."

Turning her face back toward him, he responded, "Nope, you're not getting out of this. You and I, we talk to each other. Now, if there's something wrong, I want to know about it. I want to share everything with you and that road goes both ways, love."

"Really?"

"Yes, really."
She hesitated, looking into his eyes. "2:00 in the morning is not really a good time to talk. Let's wait until tomorrow."

"Nope, tonight. Right now," he insisted.

"Well...uh...George, you're driving me crazy."

"Aye, you always drive me crazy," kissing her forehead.

"Not that way," she said with a laugh. "Well, yes, that way always, but I also mean the other way."

"What have I done?
"Where do I start?"
"It's that much?" he asked, turning over so they were face to face, rubbing his hand up and down her arm, then fingering the strap of her cami top.

She nodded, blushing slightly.

"Start at the beginning then," he suggested.

"Well, I haven't lived with anybody for a while, you know."

"Nae, nor have I."

"Well, there was Grady, but he was a teenage boy, and well, you expect certain behavior from a teenager."

"Uh huh," he said, dreading what she might be trying to say.

"Well, I know you were a bachelor for a while, and..."

"Jess, go on."

"George, you're a slob!" she blurted out.

"What? I am not!" he responded incredulously.

"Well, maybe not a slob. I guess that's a bit extreme. I never imagined that you would be so messy!" She sat up on the bed, crossing her long legs in front of her. She became quite animated as she began to pour out her grievances, "George, I never imagined that you would be so messy! You always look absolutely perfectly tailored and you seem so fastidious and organized. I guess I should have asked to see your apartment first before I invited you to live with me. Let's see, where do I start. First of all, the newspapers. You just leave them on the floor by the bed where you drop them. I can't stand it! And your clothes every night. Can't you use the hamper? And, George, please stop adjusting my office chair! Oh, and the alarm clock. I really can't stand that. How many times must you hit the snooze? And do you always have to re-set it? I'm also sick of sports night after night. And why do you always empty your pockets on the table by the door and just leave everything there?"

 

When she paused briefly, George started to protest but she reached out and covered his mouth with her hand, "I'm not finished. You have to let me know when you're not coming home for dinner. Really, I know you're working late, but I've been cooking dinners that I wouldn't normally cook for myself. And another thing, George, must you kick the covers off every night? I can't stand the bed to be so unkempt. The shower! I have to readjust the shower head every time I use it. I realize that you need to change it for your height, but George, change it back!"

 

George waited patiently for her to finish listing her grievances. When she was finally quiet, she hung her head, clearly embarrassed at her outburst. He sat up on the bed and faced her. "Are you quite finished?"

She nodded her head and then gave him a small smile.

"Am I allowed to rebut?" he asked.

"Of course."

"I'm sorry, Jess. Why didn't you say something sooner? I don't think I even realized that I was doing all of these things. I guess I was a bit spoiled by the daily maid."

"Well, I know I'm no angel either," she responded.

"Yes, you are," he said, leaning forward and planting a sweet kiss on her lips. "Most of the time, anyway. My turn now?"

"Of course."

"Well, first of all, I leave the newspapers on the floor because I intend to re-read them, but you always recycle them before I've had a chance to do so. Can't you wait just a day or two? I will try to keep them in a neat stack. And, the covers, I kick them because you have too many bloody blankets on the bed. It's like a furnace. And you tuck the sheet in so bloody tight. I don't have much of an excuse for the rest, although I promise to try harder."

"Thank you, darling," she said, taking the opportunity to kiss him back.

"May I continue?" he asked.

"Of course."

"You stay in your office too late. I'm watching sports although I'd rather be spending that time with you. But you're always too busy working. Can't you take a break once or twice a week? And of course, I don't expect you to cook dinner every night. You're the one who doesn't want to go out. You're always resetting my alarm clock. And must you get up so bloody early? And Jess, must you be constantly fussing around me, following me around, picking up after me?"

"Finished?" she asked quietly.

"Aye," he answered, taking her hands into his.

"So we're both going to work on our little habits?"
"Aye, that we are, love," he agreed, lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it softly. He continued his kisses, making his way up her arm, all the while inching closer and closer to her.

"We've talked all night. Look at the time, George," she said.

"Mmmm, what time is it, love?"

"Almost time to get up for work," she responded breathlessly.

"It's Saturday, love. We can stay right where we are," George said, pushing her cami top up and caressing her warm, soft skin beneath it.

" I think since we're already awake, we might as well start the day. You have a few chores to take care of," she teased, but all the while returning his caresses.

"Chores can wait," he said, holding her fast, finally pushing her back down onto the bed and earning a laugh from her in agreement.