Chapter 16: Bedtime

After untying Melissa, Erik picked her up and carried her into his bedroom. She complained that she could walk, although she wasn’t sure that was true. Serena hurried ahead of them and pulled down the sheets. Erik laid Melissa in the middle of the bed. Serena got in one side and Erik the other. They both snuggled up against her.

As they hugged around her and pulled up the bedcovers, tears began to well up and run across Melissa’s face, dropping onto the sheets. “I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I’m really not sad. I don’t know why I’m crying.”

“It’s okay,” Erik whispered. “It has been a very long day.”

“That’s why we brought you in here,” Serena added. “You’re supposed to feel this way after such a strong experience. And you know, your world has kind of been turned upside down today. You got to let it catch up with you, then you can sort it all out and make sense of it.”

“Yeah,” Melissa agreed, suddenly very sleepy. She closed her eyes and within moments fell asleep, as Serena stroked her hair and Erik held her close.


*   *   *


In the middle of the night, Melissa groggily came to wakefulness, propelled by an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Serena was gone. Erik had rolled over, but he was still snuggled against her. Carefully avoiding waking him, she eased herself out of bed. Enough moonlight spilled in through the windows that she could see her way to the bathroom.

As she walked across the floor, a multitude of sore joints and stiff muscles made their presence felt. She smirked, certain she resembled a creaking, hobbling crone — certainly not the beautiful sex goddess that Erik and Serena had tried to con her into believing.

She muttered quietly, “Who knew a rich guy’s sex toy worked this hard? There'd better fucking be workman’s comp.”

Finding the toilet, she lifted the lid and slumped down onto the seat. “Well that answers the question of whether he’s the kind of guy who leaves the seat up or not. He keeps the damn lid closed. Who the hell does does that?”

Once finished, she sat for a minute, worried that flushing the toilet would wake him. Finally, she decided that anyone who always put the toilet lid down was probably enough of a neatnik that it would really bother him to discover an unflushed toilet in the morning. She carefully put the lid down and pulled the handle. The toilet was nearly silent as it flushed away. She gave out a quiet “humph”, amused by the idea that rich people could buy noiseless toilets. “Sure,” she whispered to herself, “kind of like having your own bat cave for your zoomy cars… and English housekeepers… and your very own sex slave.”

Stepping back out into the moonlit bedroom, her negative train of thought was completely derailed by the curve of Erik’s shoulders and his sleep-tousled dark hair. Even asleep, he looked gorgeous. “Oh shit,” she quietly whispered to herself, unsure about whether to get back in bed with him or go up to her room. Giving into her yearning, she slipped into his bed as softly as she could.

As she hesitantly pressed her back up against his, he mumbled something unintelligible, then turned over to spoon around her, throwing his arm across her and drawing her in tighter. His breathing remained deep and regular.

Melissa was amused that he hadn’t woken up when he wrapped around her. He had snuggled her the same way a child would hug a favorite teddy bear. His embrace was warm and comfortable. She closed her eyes, musing, “Teddy bear… sex toy… girlfriend… whatever… it’s a way different summer than anything I’d planned.”