Several hours and a lot of booze later, the three of us were sprawled across the couch, ostensibly watching Terminator 2 on my laptop but really trying not to fall asleep. Faye’s feet were pressed uncomfortably against my ribs, and I’d somehow ended up half on top of Alex, my head tucked into his shoulder. He smelled good, but that was nothing new. What was more disturbing was the fact that I was once again in much too close proximity to him and I had no real interest in moving. Bollocks.
“You’re dangerous,” I said into his shirt. I felt his muscles move, and his breath brushed across the top of my head as he spoke.
“How do you mean?”
“Never mind,” I said.
He sighed, ruffling my hair, and draped his arm around me. “Come here, you,” he said, pressing a kiss against my temple. “You okay?”
No, not really, I thought. I’m single for the first time in five years and apparently I’m still attracted to you, which is bad for lots of reasons. But I’m not going to tell you that. I haven’t even told Faye that. “Yeah,” I said at last. “Yeah, I’m okay.”
“Liar,” he said affectionately, kissing me again. “It’ll be fine, Fish. You’ll be great. And you can always come down whenever you want, and if you want Faye and I to come up we can do that as often as we can.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“You don’t sound convinced.”
“I’m not.” I yawned into his chest and added, “I still feel like I’m about eighteen and waltzing off to uni for the first time knowing absolutely nothing.”
“That’s normal,” he said.
“You smell good,” I said sleepily.
He laughed. “You need to go to bed.”
“I’m comfy here,” I said.
“Well, if I fall asleep like this I’ll wake up with a seriously painful neck, so how about I carry you to bed?”
“Okay,” I mumbled.
Alex slid out from beneath me and leaned down to pick me up. I wrapped my arms around his neck and settled my head on his shoulder. Faye yawned and snuggled deeper into the couch, her legs stretching out along the length.
“I think my bed’s just been swiped,” Alex said as he manoeuvred me through the doorway into my bedroom.
“Mhmm,” I said as he set me down on the bed and offered me a pillow. I curled up and looked up at him sleepily.
“You look like a cat,” he said.
“Mrow,” I said.
He shook his head and pulled the duvet up over me. “Sleep well, Fish.”