Finally – this shift has dragged in!
Jesse thought to himself as he hurriedly left the HQ for Campus Accommodation.
It was early Saturday evening, but with his flat mate gone for the weekend and the soccer season over he was looking forward to chilling out on the sofa and watching TV. He was half way to his apartment when he heard an all too familiar voice call out his name.
“Jesse! Wait up.” He turned around and saw the delightful brunette that he had been no-so-secretly pining for over the last few of months.
She wore a cute pair of jean shorts with dark pair of tights and purple Converse hi-tops along with a trendy black and white striped loose shirt under a grey button up jacket. However it wasn’t her dress sense or the alluring way it complimented her petite curvy body that had charmed him; it was the slightly nervous expression that wrought Mia’s face that won him over.
“Hey Mia, it’s been a while. What’s up?” Jessie tried not to emphasize that he was accurately aware of exactly how long it had been since they last spoke. The impromptu ‘Boys Night’ at her apartment several weeks ago had been the last time he saw her.
“Ehm, this is going to sound really stupid and I know it’s a huge favor to ask but I’ve locked myself out of my apartment,” she spoke quickly. “Norah and the guys are away this weekend so I can’t get them to let me in tonight. Norah is gone on this bicycle trek in Cape Cod but can come back tomorrow so I can get back in... but I kind of need somewhere to stay tonight. I don’t know that many people here... and then I thought of you.”
Mia rambled on nervously knowing that she was probably sounding really desperate. She internally chastised herself for being in that much of a rush that morning that she didn’t check she had her keys before leaving her flat.
Jesse cut her off before she could finish, “Before you say anymore – my answer is yes. You can stay at my place tonight.”
“You don’t mind?”
“Of course not. You need a place to stay and I wouldn’t want you homeless, so stay with me. We can have a sleepover.” A devilish smirk crept across his face which Mia failed to notice; she was so relieved that he was helping her out.
It hadn’t even occurred to her that Jesse could have let her into her own apartment quite easily. As an RA he could have got her the spare key, but the thought of selfishly spending the evening in her presence was a much better idea.
“Thank you so much, I promise that I won’t get in the way – you’ll hardly notice me.” I highly doubt that,
he thought to himself as they walked to his place. “I hope I’m not interfering with any of your plans tonight. I mean if you are planning to go out it’s no problem,” Mia said as they walked.
“Do you always ramble?” He smiled after he asked indicating that he wasn’t being rude but only jesting with her. “It’s fine by the way. I don’t have any plans tonight so it will be nice to have company.” From the corner of his eye he could see her smile back appreciatively.
Making Mia smile made him forget all about the drudgery of his shift that day and the increasingly hostile girlfriend that was back in Toronto. They arrived at Jesse’s place fairly quickly. Now into winter the air outside had grown chilly and snow was fast approaching. Once inside, they were both grateful for the warmth of the small apartment. Since neither of them had eaten yet, Jesse suggested ordering a pizza which, at that moment, sounded like heaven to Mia.
“Do you want a beer while we wait for the pizza to get here?” he asked politely.
“No thanks. Can I have water instead? And before you even joke about me turning down alcohol – I haven’t eaten since breakfast and I’d rather not make an arse of myself by being drunk... again.”
“No need to get defensive,” he chuckled as he passed her a bottle of water. “So do you want the guided tour?”
“Sure why not.”
Jesse led her around the small apartment, unlike hers’ it wasn’t split over two floors since it was only big enough for two people. The kitchen and living area was one room and the bathroom and bedrooms where located at the rear. It was definitely minimal and very much a lads place. The living room was clean and only had a small two-seater couch and a bean bag as furniture. A small TV was perched on a dated stand in the corner. He showed her where the bathroom was and then let her have a peek into his flatmate Mark’s room.
“That’s ‘effing disgusting,” Mia said as she gawped at the mess of dirty socks and underwear, food packets and empty bottles as well as paper and books scattered around. “Doesn’t living next door to that bother you?” she asked. “It’s like a rubbish tip.”
“I know - I try to pretend it’s not there. He keeps the shared rooms tidy so I can’t complain. Hopefully my room won’t repulse you so much.”
Jesse showed her his small room that looked pristine in comparison. There was some clean laundry that still had to be put away and his gym bag was left out but it wasn’t repulsive. It only took seconds for Mia to notice the stand out feature of the room.
“How come you have a double bed? I thought students only get singles?”
“One of the many perks of working for the university.”
Mia scoffed sarcastically before taunting him, “It’s too bad you can’t share it with anyone. It’s almost a waste.” She sauntered back out and headed toward the living room leaving Jesse to reel at her words. Mia, I never had you down as a tease,
Jesse shook his head in amazement.
The pizza arrived shortly after and they settled on the sofa and watched the sport highlights. Much of which was almost foreign to Mia being from the UK; she didn’t really follow the American sports like baseball, basketball and American football. She didn’t mind though, Mia wasn’t the type of girl who complained about watching sport and she enjoyed listening to Jesse explain who the players were and how play-offs worked. He spoke slightly animated when he was really into it and Mia loved watching him in his element. It was a side of his personality that she wasn’t graced with the previous times they hung out.
Jesse didn’t mind talking to Mia over it either; he loved that she was actually interested in his opinions. Laura - his girlfriend - always tuned out whenever he and his friends talked about the game and would then go in a bad mood and say that he was ignoring her. Another bonus of hanging out with Mia was that she actually knew more than she had thought and contributed well to the conversation.
Once the pizza was finished Jesse cleared up and offered Mia a beer again. This time she accepted. He was just about to sit down again beside her when his phone rang. He passed the remote control to Mia and excused himself while he took the call. Taking a sip from the bottle, Mia slouched and heard Jesse’s voice grow quieter as he walked away and into his bedroom. She stretched her legs out across the sofa and slouched so that her head could rest on the arm. I wonder what Frankie will say when she hears about this. Most likely ‘Oh that was convenient – Jesse was the only one you could turn to in your hour of need – how romantic.’
However, romance wasn’t her intention for that evening; she just appreciated the hospitality and company. With him having a girlfriend and his appearance of loyalty to her, Mia had marked Jesse as being off-limits. For Mia it would have been nice to think of the possibilities of a romance with him. She wondered if he would have been interested had he been single. The thought was bitter-sweet.
He was the kind of man that she had always fantasized about but never seemed like a reality when she lived in Glasgow. Tall, handsome, manly, athletic were all the physical attributes she was attracted to. However, Jessie was also good-humored, easy going, flirty and confident – those features were even more attractive to her. As much as she was disappointed at her poor luck, Mia had begun to accept that even if he wasn’t going to be her love-interest then she would be happy if he was at least a friend. Mr. Perfect will have to be in the friend-zone for the time being,
Mia let her mind go numb while watching the commercials and mused over the past weeks since she had last hung out with Jesse. Her memory was still a little hazy about the party at her apartment; she categorized them as B.A. and A.A.: Before Alcohol and After Alcohol. The before memories were still the clearest. She remembered that she tried her best to show him what he was missing and attempted to flirt with the idea of tempting him. She shot down the idea when she began to think about how it would feel if he did the same to her.
The pang of lust mixed with disappointment (blended in with Sambuca)
led her to then seduce (or be seduced by – she still hadn’t worked it out)
her roommate Norah.
After waking up naked the next day in Norah’s bed, Mia assumed there would be an unsettling atmosphere between them. She was pleasantly surprised that there didn’t appear to be. Norah shrugged the whole thing off and assured Mia that it was a onetime thing and reasoned that they were both too intoxicated to have been thinking rationally.
Since then, Norah just reverted back to her former self and joked about their night together as though it was a stupid mistake. Norah’s nonchalant attitude forced Mia not to over analyze the event, but she didn’t seem too convinced of Norah’s blasé manner. She decided just to let Norah carry on as normal, deducing that if there was something else there, she would just let Norah bring it up. Her current train of thought was interrupted as Jesse strolled back into the room.
“Made yourself at home I see,” he said as he walked round to the couch. Mia began swivel round to make room on the sofa, “It’s fine – feel free to stretch out.” Jesse sat down and rested Mia’s legs over his lap.
It wasn’t the usual position that she took when hanging out with a ‘friend,’ her not being the overly touchy-feely type – she didn’t complain though. She took another sip of beer before starting conversation.
“Important phone call?”
“My Mom,” he said with a sigh.
“She missing you I guess?”
“Yup. She’s been nagging me about sorting out how I’m getting home for the holidays. I’m just playing it by ear, but I can tell she is getting annoyed.”
“That’s Mum’s for you. What about your girlfriend – I’m sure she’s looking forward to seeing you too?”
It wasn’t difficult for Mia to notice that she had struck a nerve. Jesse instantly seemed to tense up and his jaw was slightly clenched, leaving Mia worried that she had said something to bother him. “Sorry, have I said something wrong?” she mumbled apprehensively.
Loosening up slightly he gave her a reassuring squeeze on the ankle, “No, nothing wrong. It’s been a rough couple of weeks between me and her. Something I don’t really want to talk about to be honest, if that’s okay?”
“Of course. I kinda stuck my nose in there. Sorry,” she apologized while nervously pulling at the hem of her shorts and attempting to take another sip of beer.
“No need to apologize. I don’t really want to put you in the middle. I just need to work some things out.”
Mia nodded and turned back to the TV. I wonder what he means. ‘A rough couple of weeks,’ - are they splitting up.
She looked over at Jesse and watched him rest his head on right arm as he vacantly watched the conclusion to another re-run of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
. God I just want to cuddle him right now, but that would be inappropriate. I need to stop this. I can’t go on like a love-sick puppy. I wonder if staying here was a good idea. But where else am I supposed to go now? “
Mia, are you alright?” Jesse asked concerned.
“What? Oh sorry I was in my own world there. Just wondering if it was too much trouble asking Norah to come back early,” she lied.
“If you want you can let her know that I’ll get you back in to your place in the morning when the office opens again.”
He felt bad that he was keeping her there under false pretenses; he could call the office right now if she really wanted. There was always someone on call for emergencies, but he liked the company – even if his conscience was taking a beating. Just chill – it’s not like we’re doing anything that’s even close to cheating. Anyways – saves either of us being alone on a Saturday night.
“Thanks Jesse, that’s great. I’ll tell her now. I was worried I ruined her weekend,” Mia quickly sent off a quick message to Norah letting her know that she didn’t need to rush back. However, she did neglect to tell her where she was staying this evening and who she was spending it with.
“So what happened to that guy you were seeing – you guys still together?” Jesse enquired with feigned innocence.
A slightly confused expression crept over her face before the realization sank in. “How did you know... Uhm no, me and Scott are just friends now.”
“So you are still single?”
“Yes... Why? You’re not trying to set me up with one of your jock buddies are you?”
“Ha-ha,” he chuckled upon seeing a horrified look on her face. “No, don’t worry. You’re too good for any of my friends.”
Mia smiled at the compliment. “You have a high opinion of me. Thanks Jesse. But how do you know if I’m too good for them? I might be a bad girl you know – with loads of boys that I taunt and let chase me,” she tried to suggest seductively.
“Nah that’s not you; I can tell. You’re too vanilla,” Jesse teased.
“I am not,” she tried to argue even thought it was no use.
“Okay then if you’re not, then why are you hanging out with me and not on some hot date tonight. I’m sure one of your ‘boys’ wouldn’t mind you staying with them.”
“You’re right they wouldn’t, but I’m pretty bored of them just now. I was looking for some fresh meat,” she added suggestively before resting her empty bottle on the floor.
Jesse leant over to her side of the couch and placed his right hand on the armrest Mia’s head was leaning on, blocking her in. Jesse gave her a seductive once over, his face only inches from hers, then he turned his head so that his mouth hovered above her ear.
“It’s too bad that you’re stuck with me then huh?” He let his arm drop down and grabbed the beer bottle before standing up and walking back to the kitchen area.
Mia was left trying to catch her breath as her heart pounded furiously. Jesse resisted a self-satisfied laugh as he pulled another couple of beers from the fridge. I think that makes us tied at one-all. I wonder if she will keep this going - I hope so. What’s his game
? Mia began to wonder as her heart-rate tried to find a normal pace. I’m starting to think he WANTS me to make a move. Is that what he’s waiting for? I’m sorry Jesse but I’m not holding myself responsible for your infidelity.
“Here I got you another one,” he said as he slouched back on the sofa. Mia brought her knees up to her chest but didn’t rest them back on Jesse’s lap this time.
Aware that the chemistry was a little too volatile, she spent the remainder of the evening trying to avoid another flirt-off. It was becoming a battle of wits and they both began to wonder if the effort to deny their respective attraction was worthless. Mia also drew the line of drinking any more beer for the rest of the night, deciding that a level head was required if she wanted to resist temptation. It was getting late and both Jesse and Mia were exhausted (mentally and physically.)
She found it difficult to suppress a yawn.
“I guess you’re ready for bed?” Jesse asked. Mia nodded while covering her mouth yawning again.
“Do you have a spare blanket or something?” she asked.
“Hmm yeah I think so, why? You’re not thinking about sleeping on the couch, are you?” he asked with concern. “I fell asleep on this thing when I came home drunk one night; had to go the physiotherapist the next day for my back.”
“Well where else am I going to sleep?”
“Mark’s room is free tonight...” Jesse burst out laughing as soon as he saw the repulsion on Mia’s face. “I’m kidding - I wouldn’t let my worst enemy sleep in there. You can sleep in with me. I have space.”
The tone of his voice wasn’t suggestive this time Mia noticed, but it wasn’t the most ideal sleeping arrangement.
“I dunno Jesse...”
“I know it’s not ideal,” he said taking the words right out of her mouth. “But it’s only for one night and it will be perfectly innocent. Just pretend I’m one of your friends – like Norah or something.” That’s the problem Jesse. Even the most innocent situations aren’t that innocent. I can’t trust myself sleeping with my own roommate.
Mia tried to weigh up her options but there didn’t seem like many available.
“Fine,” she answered resolutely. “But can I borrow some clothes to sleep in?”
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/novels/mia-chapter-5-the-sleepover-part-i.aspx">Mia - Chapter 5: The Sleepover (Part I)</a>