Eeek! Haven't updated this sucker in awhile so I figured that it was time! :) I've been working on this chapter all week so hopefully it turned out well!
Chapter song: "Right as Rain" by Adele (love, love, love this song!)
In the middle of the night, I felt the bed shift as someone invaded the protective warm covering of my bed. My body panicked before my brain could register that it was someone familiar in my bed and not an axe murderer or rapist.
"Shhhh" the foreign being whispered in my ear, sliding his body around me heavily. "It's just me" Geno whispered. He pulled me closer to his body, spooning me and letting the warmth from his body raise my own body temperature.
My heart rate had calmed down enough to allow me to speak and I squinted trying to see what time it was and figure out why he was here. I had been expecting to sleep alone tonight.
"Go back to sleep" he whispered urging me to shut my eyes.. "It's 2 something" he added and I realized he must have seen me trying to squint at the clock. He yawned and shifted his legs around annoyingly until I realized that he was kicking his shoes off. By now I was awake but not terribly annoyed with him being there.
Come to think of it, I didn't know how he had gotten in but at the moment, I was too tired to care. I let his breathing lull me back to sleep ignoring questions of how he had gotten inside my apartment and saving them for the a.m.
In the morning, I woke up before my alarm and slipped out from the heavy weight of Geno's arm around my waist. As much as I would have liked to relish the morning and lay in bed with him, I knew that I couldn't and there was too much for me to do at work to call in sick or fake having a doctor's appointment. It would really come in handy to have a mysterious eye ailment this week.
Instead, I stretched and rolled my shoulders in a feeble attempt to wake my body up. Last night I had been up late watching the Pens play on TV and doing errands that lately I had been neglecting like laundry. Normally I was anal about having my laundry done and piles of clean underwear folded in my drawers but lately that had been difficult to manage.
Any spare time I had aside from working and occassionally travelling with the team for business, I was with Geno at his house. I couldn't remember the last time that I had spent an entire week in my bed. And not just 5 days either but 7 whole nights of sleep in my own bed. It seemed that lately we were doing everything together.
That was why I had made the committment to myself last night to stay home, actually clean my clothes and my apartment and sleep in my bed alone. Just to prove that I still could. My plan had gone accordingly until Geno had managed to break into my apartment and not so subtley sneak into my bed. I hadn't even invited him over!
"What time is it?" A voice grumbled behind me and startled me out of my little stretching routine.
"It's a little after 6" I replied reaching over to grab my glasses case and slip my contacts in. Before I could slip the contact onto my eye, his heavy arm reached over and pulled me backward across his body, making me squeal in protest over losing my contact. He wanted to keep me in bed longer but the movement jostled the contact off its perch on my finger. Losing a contact in the morning was the worst and usually put me in a horrible mood.
I swatted at him and struggled to sit up as I felt around for my contact on the sheets. He propped himself up and looked at me strangely.
"What are you doing?" he grunted when I accidentally patted my hand over his crotch in search for my contact. I didn't have time to enjoy the fact that I had inadvertently put too much pressure on his crotch.
"You made me lose my contact!" I told him ignoring the look on his face. I didn't have time for this this early in the morning and I needed to get in the shower if I was going to successfully stick to my morning routine.
After finally locating the missing contact, I popped it in without thinking of all the linen fuzzies that could be stuck to the surface. Instantly, my eye watered and burned, rejecting the foreign object and making me yelp.
"What? What's wrong?" Geno asked jumping up and examining me. His concern was appreciated and cute but that wasn't helping my eye get any better. "What did you do to eye?" he asked trying to pry my hands away from my face.
"Get off!" I said trying to navigate my way around him and get my ass to the bathroom so that I could wash the contact off and flush out my eye. I couldn't force my eye open unless water was flushed into it and unfortunately that meant that I couldn't clearly see the path to my bathroom either.
"I'm glad you think this is funny" I muttered almost crashing into the wall while he sat back and chuckled at me. This wasn't entirely different from any other scenario between us since it seemed like I was always doing something to amuse him but this time I wasn't inclined to smile or joke back. Damn it, my eye hurt.
"Here" he said guiding me over to the sink before I actually hurt myself. He gently pulled my hands away from my face and turned the faucet on.
Immediately, I began to push cold water into my swollen eye so that I could finally pull the offending contact out. When I surfaced from the sink, Geno was still behind me and I realized that he had been rubbing my back in slow circles the entire time.
"Good?" he asked handing me a towel so that I could wipe off my face. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I looked the exact opposite of sexy and appealing. My hair was slightly damp around my temples from splashing water, my eye was puffy and irritated and I was still wearing my frumpy pajamas that I only wore when I was cold and sleeping alone- which ended up not being the case last night anyway.
"Yes, much better now" I said blinking quickly to remove excess water before turning back to my medicine cabinet above the sink to pull out my backup contacts. I was probably monstrously behind schedule by now and would have to forego my morning coffee and drink the stuff in the office break room that looked and tasted like sludge. One thing I definitely missed about New York was the existence of coffee shops every 10 feet. Pittsburgh wasn't quite up to my caffeine addiction standards like New York was and I wasn't really a gas station coffee kind of girl either.
I tried to push past Geno so that I could go and turn the shower water on before I was even more behind schedule but he grabbed me and pulled me towards him for good morning kiss that I wasn't enthused about considering we both had morning breath. And I really wanted coffee considering that my eye was still sore and swollen.
Sensing my lack of participation in the kiss, he pulled away and looked me over with a sigh. "Fine, I go get coffee so you act nice this morning."
Feeling bad, I gave him a smile and thanked him by kissing him on his stubbly cheek. "Thanks, I'm sorry I'm a bitch in the morning."
He nodded and left me alone in the bathroom to hurry through my routine. Things had been going so well lately that I didn't want to purposely be a bitch just because something was irking me beneath the surface. I turned the water off and stepped out of the shower to towel off and quickly smooth lotion on. The quiet bathroom provided me with the space I needed to think and sort through exactly why I was feeling so prickly all of the sudden. Because everything had been going so well in my life, I didn't have any reason to feel annoyed with him being here or annoyed with myself for actually feeling annoyed. It was absurd. It was bitchy and it was something that I hadn't felt in awhile.
"Hey" a voice said behind me causing me to jump. I must have been standing in the shower longer than I thought because he had already found the time to run out to the Starbucks 10 blocks away and return a venti coffee in hand. He held the coffee out to me like a peace offering and leaned back against the wall with his long, sweatpant clad legs stretched out in front of him.
How could I possibly be mean to a man who went out and bought me Starbucks and was nice to me no matter how shitty I treated him? I really was a bitch 99 percent of the time.
"Thanks" I smiled and felt all of the tension leave my face as we looked at each other. He shrugged like he didn't know what else to say and continued to watch me in my bathroom. He looked tired and for the first time since he had shown up last night and I noticed that there was subtle bruising beneath his chin and spreading onto his neck. My eyes snapped to the bruise even when he acted like it was no big deal.
"What happened?" I asked him tightening the towel linked above my breasts and stepping forward to lightly trail my fingers over his neck. He reached out to toy with the top of the towel while I examined his skin carefully. "Did you get in a fight? I didn't see you get into a fight." Maybe it had happened while I had been in the laundry room?
"You watch game?" He asked continuing to tickle my skin with his fingertips.
"Yeah, I had it on while I was home last night." He smiled at this and leaned down to plant a kiss on my collarbone apparently done with the conversation I was trying to have with him. "So what happened?" I asked pulling his head up from my chest. "Did someone hit you?"
He sighed, realizing that I wasn't going to let him win and pull the towel away from my body for some fooling around. "It's hockey, I always get hit" he answered planting a firm kiss on my cheek. I dropped the subject sensing that if he wasn't making a big deal out of it, then I wouldn't either.
"Did a doctor look at it?" I couldn't hold back the question even though he looked more amused than angry at my fussing.
"You know, if I don't know you better, it sounds like you care about me." He grinned cheekily smoothing one of his big, clumsy hands over my drippy, wet hair.
Trying to keep the mood light-hearted and simple, I smiled and replied with an "Of course I care" before stepping away to brush my hair out and begin applying my makeup. He had been doing that a lot lately and each and every time it made my heart rate bump up and not in a pleasant way either. More like an anxiety-inducing sort of heart bump.
For a man who hadn't completely mastered the english language, he sure had mastered the best ways to make me feel uneasy and unsure of myself. I guess guilt was an international language spoken by all.
It was true at least. I did care about him. That wasn't the actual problem because it was evident that we both cared about each other. The problem was exactly how much we were starting to care about each other. I had thrown all of my eggs in one basket before with my relationship to Peter and that ended up blowing up in my face. That didn't meant that I was stupid and willing to let go of a great thing either. I just wanted to prolong throwing down important labels on our relationship for awhile. Why couldn't we just keep going on happily like we already were?
Still, as I watched him struggle to pop toast into my tempramental toaster and almost burn himself, my heart lurched at the sight of his tall form which was obviously so male, being domestic and at home in my kitchen.
"Here" I said stepping behind him and smacking the toaster at the base. I pressed down the lever and this time the toaster graciously accepted the bread and began to toast like it was supposed to. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to sit around this morning and enjoy breakfast with him.
"I need to get going" I told him. "Can I trust you alone with my toaster?"
He nodded seeming to understand the joke and not mind that he was the butt of it. Curiously, I watched him make himself at home in my refrigerator and pull out orange juice and jelly. His obvious comfort in my apartment sparked me to think about the question that had been lingering in my mind all morning. Exactly how did he get into my apartment and how would he be locking up when he left?
"Hey Geno?" He made a noise while he bit into his toast which prompted me to continue. "How did you get in last night? I locked everything up before I went to bed."
To my surprise, he grinned and shrugged. "Didn't have key, so I pick lock."
What? He picked my lock? I was so perplexed by this idea that I didn't even bother to correct his English. Technically, he had broken into my apartment. Never in my life had anyone picked a lock on my door before. Not even when I had lived in a much tougher city than Pittsburgh.
"But, I have like three locks!" It was true, I even had one of those sliding chain lock things. There was no way that he could have managed to get past that thing. That was the point of them!
He looked at me like I was stupid and laughed at the outraged expression on my face. Grabbing me by the shoulders, he pulled me to stand in front of him while he looked down on me. "I'm from Russia. We pick American locks."
Apparently he had every right to be smug and sure of his lock picking abilities. The door locks looked completely normal as if they had never been tampered with in the first place.
"Your lock is weak" he added munching into the toast. "I buy you better ones."
Rolling my eyes, I reached behind him to give him a paper towel. "Whatever floats your boat. I know it will make you feel manly and in control."
What was meant as a joke was lost on him as he studied me seriously. I thought that he just didn't get the joke and was about to tease him more when he interrupted me.
"Or you move in with me and have safe locks."
The suggestion itself was almost lost on me until my brain fully registered his words and processed them. Move in with him? My heart began to beat faster and I had to wipe my sweaty palms on the skirt of my suit. I didn't know what to say so instead I stood there dumbfounded and unable to meet his eyes.
Geno saved me from having to respond by leaning over to lightly kiss me on the lips. He didn't pressure me but the kiss was different. It conveyed the promise that we would be going over this again later but he was going to drop it for the time being.
"Look, I know you want me to say something but-"
"No, don't talk. Just think. We talk later after game, yes?"
I nodded at him and tried to decipher what he was thinking behind his moody, brown eyes. I had plans to go to the Pens game later on since it was a home game against the Capitals. Maybe I could use the time to talk to Vero and relay the morning's events to her.
"By the way" Geno stopped me before I could slip out the door of my apartment and off on my way to work. "My parents will be at game. You'll meet them in lounge at 6:30."
Before I could argue, he gently pushed me out the door effectively closing me out from my own apartment. Not that it made a difference anymore anyway since apparently nothing that was supposedly mine belonged to just me anymore.
Note: I am SO excited to write about the Malkins. They are adorably foreign :)