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After some quick Nancy-Drew thinking, I retrieve Matt’s phone from the pocket of his coat, but it’s locked. I try to break into it using his thumbprint, but it’s no use. I need the passcode. What fresh hell is this?!
His phone will allow me to place a call to 9-1-1, and I actually consider it.
“Hello, yes this is a very serious emergency.”
Josie is probably worried sick about me, but there’s nothing I can do. Matt doesn’t have a house phone. I’ve searched high and low. I consider knocking on a neighbor’s door to ask to use their phone, but it’s late and even though this is a nice neighborhood, there are crazy people everywhere. I’m not trying to end up in anyone’s basement tonight.
Then it hits me: DUH, I’ll plug my phone into Matt’s charger and wait for it to juice up. I’ll be on my way home in no time.
His charging dock is on his nightstand, so I drop my phone onto it and then slide down to the floor so I can rest my back against his bed. I take off my jacket and use it as a blanket, then I stand and steal a pillow so I can actually get comfortable. It smells like him and I try hard not to let the scent wind its way around me, but it’s no use. I’m in his bedroom, listening to his steady breathing and using his pillow to cradle my head. I am all up in his personal space and I have free rein. I could snoop anywhere I want. I could turn and open the drawer of his nightstand. I shiver at the thought of finding condoms or some other proof that he’s a living, breathing man with needs—sexy, R-rated needs.
I put up caution tape and roadblocks around those thoughts and turn my attention to the window in front of me. The curtain blocks most of the light outside, but I can still see a sliver of the moon. I’m admiring it as a yawn breaks free. My eyelids feel oh so heavy. The two glasses of champagne I had during dinner have made me extra sleepy. Maybe that waiter did give me a heavy pour after all. I fight to keep my eyes open, knowing my phone will be charged soon, but it’s no use. My eyes flutter closed and I tell myself to stay awake…to check to see if my phone is charged…to…
I have the most delicious dream. I’m a princess and there’s a dragon holding me captive in a medieval tower. Fortunately, there’s a brawny prince with the bluest eyes and the darkest hair. He’s brave and chivalrous and really knows how to rock a suit of armor. All the other princesses in the land think he’s hot, but he’s my prince. He’s come to slay my dragon and rescue me from the tower. After an intense duel in which he comes out the victor, he finally reaches my room way up at the tallest peak, and he lifts me into his arms. I think we’re headed out of the tower, but instead he carries me over to a bed. It makes no sense—we need to go in the opposite direction, out of the room. I really need to go home. I tell the prince my sister is waiting for me, but he insists I stay on this soft, warm bed as he tucks me under the blankets.
He moves to walk away and I say, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” Then I make exaggerated smoochy noises with my lips. Because, hello! This dream is not G-rated. I want a kiss, dammit, but the prince just chuckles and walks away.
Pfft. Just my luck, getting a prudish prince.
This is the last part of the dream I remember before I jolt awake in a room that smells like sandalwood and pine, lying on sheets that are way softer than anything I can afford. It takes me all of three seconds to realize I’m still in Matt’s house, and worse, I’m in his bed! Oh god, that means he must have picked me up and put me up here himself. He was the prince—and I begged him to kiss me!
I bolt upright and look around the room. He’s not in bed with me. THANK GOD. I scramble out from beneath the covers and leap to my feet. With a shaky, nervous breath, I glance down. Oh, phew. Fortunately, I’m still in my dress from last night, though it’s a little askew. I grab my phone from the charging dock and turn it on. Josie called me 37 times.
I call her back right away.
“OH MY GOD. I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!” is the first thing she says as the call connects.
I hold a hand over my mouth, scared to make too much noise. I don’t know where Matt is. He could be coming back any minute.
“Listen, I’m alive. It’s a long story, but I’ll be home soon.”
She groans. “Good, I’m glad, but it’s 5:45 AM and I’m going back to sleep.”
The call abruptly ends.
Okay, well, at least that’s taken care of. I tiptoe around and gather my things. My jacket is on the floor. My shoes are sitting neatly beside the bed. Matt must have taken them off for me like I did for him, and I shiver thinking of him undoing the little strap around my ankle. For some reason that seems more thoughtful than when I yanked off his dress shoes, but maybe I’m reading too much into it.
Once I have everything I need, I tiptoe to the door of his bedroom. If I make it outside without being noticed, I can just order an Uber from down the street, or who knows, I could always hitchhike home with some grizzly trucker. Last night, I was worried about crazy people. Now, I’m so embarrassed by how I behaved that a good ol’ kidnapping doesn’t sound so bad anymore.
I hear a noise behind me and freeze, glancing slowly over my shoulder like I’m expecting Freddy Krueger to make an appearance. A second later, Matt steps out of his bathroom, toothbrush swishing back and forth across his teeth. He’s wearing gray sleeping pants and no shirt and I blink an untold number of times as if my eyelashes will flap hard enough to carry me right out of this situation.
“Good,” he says with a quick nod. “You’re up.”
Then he turns and steps back into the bathroom so he can spit out his toothpaste and rinse his mouth. My eyes flick to his window and I wonder if I can make it across the room and outside before he’s done. But no, a second later, he’s back in his bedroom, brushing past me to get into the hallway. Now he’s sans toothbrush and still sans shirt. I feast on the sight that is his tan back and broad shoulders and muscly biceps, but when he glances back to look at me, I shoot my gaze to the ceiling so fast, I think I sprain a muscle in my eye.
“C’mon, I’ll make breakfast.”
I laugh. “For a second there, it sounded like you said the word ‘breakfast’, but that can’t be right.”
He scrunches his brows in confusion. “Aren’t you hungry?”
I hold up my hand. Why are we talking about food, of all things? Aren’t there more important details we need to work out? Like, oh, I dunno, when we took the major leap from enemies to shirtless breakfast companions? “Hold on—did I or did I not fall asleep on the floor of your bedroom last night?”
He frowns and turns around, leaning one shoulder against the wall and crossing his arms. His abs are insanely toned. “You did.”
“And did you or did you not lift me up into your bed and tuck me under the covers?”
“I did, but then I slept out on the couch. Nothing happened.”
My cheeks burn because there’s still one more thing I need clarification on. I rush the words out on one breath. “Good, okay. Also, I dreamed that I asked for a kiss—that didn’t happen, right?”
His face completely transforms as his mouth breaks into a devastating smile. “No, that definitely did happen. It was cute. You puckered up and everything.”
Just as I thought. I cross my arms and put my head down and fast-walk right on by him. I head straight for the door and I think if I pick up enough momentum, I won’t even have to stop to open it, I can just barrel straight through the wood.
His hand reaches out to catch my shoulder and he tugs me back. “Wait, I said it was cute. You don’t have to be embarrassed.”
“Embarrassed isn’t the right word. Traumatized is more like it. I’ll need therapy.”
He offers me a little half-smile and my gaze pings back and forth between that and his swoon-worthy bedhead.