Ruined Afterglow

The sound of my own soft snoring startled me awake. For a moment, I didn’t realize where I was or how I had gotten there.

“Mornin’, sleepy head.”

Alex.

The previous night started to come back to me like a power surge. My orgasm had been just what the doctor ordered to get my mind off the hysteria I knew I’d have to face later in the day.

“You look like a Cheshire cat. What are you thinking about?” Alex asked.

“Oh . . . a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. And how are you doing this morning?” I inquired, leaning across his body to work out the kinks I’d developed in my contorted sleeping position.

“I’m doing okay.” He propped himself up on one of the decorative pillows, appearing indifferent.

“Just okay?” I said as I straddled him. “I would think that you’re doing much better than okay.”

“All right, all right.” He laughed and tried to push me off of him. “I’m doing much better than okay. What about you?”

“Yea, I’m doing great!” I giggled and shot him a sly look. “What time is it?”

“I don’t know, but I would assume it’s still rather early—otherwise we’d surely hear Yanni bellowing through the house.” Alex gently lifted me off him and sat up, straightening his long legs.

“I need to go to the ladies room. Is there a bathroom down here?”

“Yeah, right behind that panel”—he pointed over my shoulder—“it’s actually a full bath. Yanni spent a lot of money trying to get this place hooked up.”

I walked over to what looked like a curved wall and pushed it with my hand. The wall slid open in circular fashion. I looked back at Alex. “I think it was money well spent. Would you disagree?”

I didn’t get a chance to hear his reply because of the panel closing behind me. As I stood there soaking in the incredulousness of what I’d seen since arriving at Yanni’s, I was highly curious to know what she was up to. Thanks to Vincent’s antics and Sabrina barging in, Ms. E’Baire and I had never gotten a chance to discuss what she was doing.

After using the restroom and washing my hands, I tapped the door and it slid open. I walked out and immediately stared at Alex in confusion. His expression had changed from relaxed to stressed.

“You okay?” I asked.

“Umm . . . I don’t know. Can you believe it’s 10:00 a.m.? When Yanni gets her hands on me . . .” he began, his voice trailing off.

“She’s going to do what?”

He shook his head. “Oh, the hell with it—she’ll be okay. But know this . . . I’m going to get some drama for not waking her up at her usual time.”

“Drama? Waking her up?” I let out a sarcastic laugh. I couldn’t believe the madness I was hearing. Yanni had a personal wake-up person? But why should anything about her surprise me?

“Don’t laugh, Starlet. You know how she can be, and waking her up is part of my responsibilities when she’s at this house.”

He truly seemed worried, so I wiped the grin from my face. “Oookay, I guess I’ll have to take you at your word. Changing the subject, I noticed a shower in there. Wanna join me for a nice one, before we have to face our slave master?”

“Sure, you don’t have to ask twice.”

As we started toward the bathroom, Princess awoke from her self-induced coma and started her potty dance. I pointed to the pillow she’d just gotten off, and she sat back down with an attitude.

Alex chuckled. “She’s a lot like her owner—full of attitude.”

I rolled my eyes at Alex and playfully pushed him into the bathroom. I quickly went about prepping for my last bit of peace.

“Can you grab some towels, while I get the shower started?” I asked Alex. “The last thing I want is for Yanni to bump into us and we reek of sex.”

Alex laughed and walked over to what I realized was a fully stocked linen closet. He pulled out towels and a litany of hygiene items, including toothbrushes. It was as if Yanni had been preparing for guests.

Before hitting the shower, I knew I had to remedy my dragon-breath issue. Jack Daniels mixed with sour mouth didn’t taste good the next morning.

Once my pearly whites and breath were back to normal, I climbed into the hot water which felt good against my skin. I plucked a washcloth from the towel bar, lathered it and began to wash Alex from head to toe. A couple of times I came close to his nipples and rubbed them ever-so lightly, teasing him. He moaned his approval.

“Quit moaning before you tempt me to do something that’ll get you in more trouble with Yanni and me in more trouble with Princess.”

Alex laughed, but when he turned around, his eyes said something else.

“I’m serious, Alex. Don’t start anything.”

He snatched the soap from my hands and grabbed the other washcloth. “I promise I won’t start anything.” He winked at me and lathered the towel. “I just want to savor this moment with you. I know once we walk up those stairs hell and fury will be there to greet us.”

“You know it.”

I stood still as his gently bathed me, making sure my hair didn’t get ruined by the water shooting out of the shower head.

In silence, we rinsed the suds from our bodies. I turned off the water, grabbed a drying towel and stepped out of the shower. I’d begun to dry myself when Alex yanked the towel away. “This is my job.”

I smiled and made a game of raising my arms and legs and striking poses so that he could hit ALL the spots, especially THE spot. When he completed his mission, replete with a kiss to a certain area, I reciprocated. Hand-in-hand, we headed out of the steamy bathroom, ready for our punishment.

“If you don’t mind, I’m going to put on your shirt,” I said, already throwing it over my head. “Besides, it’s much longer than mine—and if someone catches me my ass won’t be out in the air.”

“No problem.” Alex leaned in and kissed me fully.

The softness of his lips made me want to knock him back onto the couch for another round. “Alex, please don’t start this again,” I whispered huskily.

“Okay, okay,” he said, backing away and holding up his hands in mock surrender. “But your lips are just so damn inviting.”

A rush of blood brought sudden heat to my face.

I fumbled for something to say and decided it best to change the subject. “Since it’s almost brunch time, would you like something to eat?”

“You’re kidding, right? Of course I do. I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation. Hopefully, Yanni’s in a much nicer state by now.”

“Keep dreaming, Alex. Keep dreaming.”

I snapped my fingers and Princess jumped off the pillow. She ran to the top of the stairs and growled down at me as if to say, “It is about damn time.”

Alex and I collected the remainder of our belongings and headed up the stairs after her. I momentarily registered a state of panic when I remembered I’d left dinner cooking in the kitchen the night before. I sniffed the air and sighed in relief at the flowery aroma of the hallway.

As I pushed the door fully open, Yanni jumped out in front of us. “Is this where you two have been hiding?”

Alex and I stood there, neither of us speaking.

“Answer me, dammit!” Yanni roared. “Is this where you two have been hiding? And why the fuck do you have on his shirt, Starlet?” She looked at Alex. “What the fuck is going on in this damn house?”

She paused, I guess, waiting for us to respond. Instead of doing so, we both stepped into the hall. Princess took off down the hall toward the open back door, her little bladder probably near bursting proportions.

I laughed at her, before turning back to Yanni. “What’s your problem?”

“What’s my problem? What’s my problem? I can tell you about several problems.” She took a breath and continued, her voice rising, “You are my problem. Alex is my problem. Red is my problem—which, by the way, his fucking ass has disappeared, and I think he might be with Mason. Hint, hint, Alex!”

She turned her glare back on me. “Mason, his father and his fucking sister are my problem. The fucking Looney-toon Sabrina is my problem. I have a whole host of problems! Take your pick, dammit!”

She placed her hands on her hips and looked from me to Alex. “You didn’t answer my question. You think I forgot? Why the fuck do you have on Alex’s shirt? Last time I checked, it was all about that punk-bitch Eric.

“I can’t believe you were able to bed two dudes in this short amount of time. I didn’t know so many men liked fat chicks.”

I had heard enough. I lunged toward Yanni. Alex caught me, just before my hand became one with her face.

“That’s right, Alex—keep your chunk of ass in check. We both know Ms. Black Martha Stewart has quite a fucking temper.”

I shook myself free from Alex, because this time I was determined to keep my composure.

“You know what? I’m in a pretty good mood, and I will not let you spoil it.” I felt my insides calming down and plastered a smile on my face. “Would you like some brunch? Maybe some food in your stomach will take the edge off, since you obviously need some tension relief.”

She snarled at me. I inwardly reveled in my jab. My happy-go-lucky mood had to be like lighter fluid to her anger.

“I don’t give a fuck if you make brunch!” she shouted, waving her hands in the air. The poor girl was surely losing it, I thought.

Next thing I knew, she moved forward and approached me. Alex couldn’t jump between us fast enough as she stood mere inches from my face.

She shoved a finger against my nose, her eyes daring me to push back. “I got one mo’ question for you—who would send a package with your name on it and blow up Eric’s house?”

Her words left me feeling like a steel rod had impaled my chest.