The soft glow of the morning sun dazzled Jason's eyes as he awoke from his sleep. A smile crept onto his lips as he realized that Chloe's sleeping figure was wrapped protectively in his arms. Nuzzling his face against her dark hair, Jason released a satisfied sigh. He then opened his eyes once more and glanced at his digital clock. "Ah, hell."
Jason was instantly torn between wanting to keep Chloe's nude body encircled by his own and knowing that he needed to wake her up and get her home before her parents realized she was missing. Running his hand under the blanket up Chloe's bare skin Jason tenderly slid his palm over first her stomach, then her breasts. Continuing upwards, Jason's hand finally reached Chloe's face just after she whimpered with delight. Kissing her cheek, Jason calmly said, "Chloe, baby, I'm suppose to pick you up at your house in fifteen minutes."
For a brief moment, Chloe continued to smile in a daze. Then reality hit her. "What?" she shrieked as she sat up in the large bed that had so loyally supported her and Jason's love making the night before.
"Look, just let me throw on some clothes, then I can drive you home and . . ."
"I can just slip in the window and be downstairs when you supposedly arrive," Chloe finished with a grin.
Sitting up beside Chloe, Jason cupped her face in his solid hands and kissed her lips. "God, I'll never get enough of you – but now I've got to get dressed."
As Jason smoothly left the bed and strutted to his dresser for a pair of fresh boxers and his favorite denim jeans, Chloe was able to first admire his physique in the light of day. Yet, she already had ever inch of his body memorized and claimed as hers.
Pulling his jeans up over his plaid boxers, Jason bent over and picked up a few stray articles of Chloe's clothing. Bringing them to her, he said, "I guess you might want to put these on, huh?"
"It would probably be a good idea," answered Chloe. Slipping on her strapless bra and pink top, Chloe apprehensively asked, "No regrets?"
Flashing Chloe the smile she so loved, Jason answered, "Not a one."
Twelve minutes later, Chloe was carefully sneaking back into her bedroom as Jason lurked behind the tree and watched with mild amusement. Just before pulling herself into her window, Chloe jokingly hissed, "Stop smirking."
As his girlfriend disappeared into her bedroom, Jason kept a close eye on the hands of his watch. He would wait five minutes and then knock on the front door of the Wesley home. After all, it was to be expected that he would be at least a minute or two late rather than a few minutes early.
The time passed excruciatingly slow as he waited to see his friend and lover once more. Grinning uncontrollable, Jason finally understood the phrase What a difference a day makes. Five minutes having finally passed, Jason slowly crept around to the front door of the Wesley house and took a deep breath before ringing the doorbell.
Almost instantly, Nancy Wesley stood before him. Far too happy to be bogged down by Chloe's difficult mother, Jason smiled cheerfully and greeted, "Good morning, Mrs. Wesley."
Nancy found herself thrown off her usually distrustful course by Jason's optimism and carefree nature. Stepping aside Nancy replied, "Good morning to you, too. Chloe should be down any minute."
"Here I am," Chloe yelled as she all but raced down the front staircase. Slightly out of breath from her hurried morning routine and then running downstairs, Chloe breathlessly uttered, "Good morning, Jase."
"That it is," the charismatic young man returned with his familiar smile that never failed to brighten up Chloe's entire world.
"Chloe, I don't think I've ever seen you in such a hurry to get to school," Nancy observed with only slight suspicion.
Covering for her own excited behavior, Chloe remarked, "I promised Belle and Shawn that I would get to school early so they could tell me all about their trip before we had to go to first period."
"Oh, well, you two have a nice day at school."
Chloe carelessly slipped her arm around Jason's as they moved toward the front door. "Don't worry, Nancy. We're going to be just fine."
The usual buzz of teenage chatter filled the hallways of Salem High. Several seniors lamented tales of frolicking on the beach to the younger students of Salem High. Others chose to merely daydream silently about their Floridian vacation while lingering at their lockers or in a partially empty classroom.
Standing near the front entrance to the school, Philip Kiriakis softly spoke to his girlfriend Mimi Lockhart. He knew that on some level his relationship with Mimi had changed and would never be the same. It had yet to be proven if that was a bad thing or merely a blessing in disguise. For better or worse, Mimi no longer looked at Philip with rose-tinted glasses. She looked at him as though she were looking through his eyes and almost into his soul. It was as if she was truly seeing and accepting Philip for who he was.
As the delightful couple discussed the time they had been able to share together in Orlando, they were unaware of another couple that had just stepped into the halls of Salem High.
Laughing as she and Philip recalled his burial in sand, Mimi happened to look past her gorgeous beau and saw another attractive man walking in their direction. Only, this man was paying them no attention as he directed his gaze to Chloe Lane and laughed at whatever light-hearted words she was speaking.
Her eyes as wide as saucers, Mimi frantically began to slap at Philip's arm. "Philip, Philip, uh . ."
"Um," gulped the stunned teen. "I think I'm having a hallucination. Because, I swear it looks like Jason and Chloe are . . . being friendly."
"Huh?" Philip muttered before turning to follow Mimi's shocked gaze. His mouth agape with disbelief, Philip watched Jason and Chloe share a quiet laugh before finally taking notice of him and Mimi. With a brief wave of his hand, Philip called his classmates over to join him.
Upon reaching Philip and Mimi, Jason inquired, "Hey, how was Florida?"
"Okay," muttered Philip and Mimi in unison as they gazed critically at their companions.
"Just okay?" Chloe asked. "Come on, I'm sure it was better than okay." When Philip and Mimi only answered her with silence, Chloe said, "Oo-kay. Well, I promised Shawn and Belle that I would find them so they could tell me about all the fun they had in Orlando." Still, Chloe was greeted with silence and questioning stares. Turning her slightly amused gaze to Jason, she said, "I'm going to go find Shawn and Belle. I'll see ya in a few."
Astonishing Philip and Mimi, Chloe casually brushed her lips against Jason's cheek before walking away in search of her other friends. Left alone with his bewildered pals, Jason grumbled, "Shut your mouths before a couple of flies go in."
Shawn instinctively covered his right ear when Belle let out a joyful squeal upon seeing Chloe alive and well. Giving one of her closest friends a hug, Belle said, "Ah, Chloe, I've missed you so much!"
"I've missed you, too," Chloe replied as she managed to pull away from her friend.
Having recovered from Belle's high-pitched outburst, Shawn said, "Yeah, it's good to see you again, Chloe. It seems like way more than two weeks."
As Shawn turned to his locker once more and pulled out the textbook he needed for his first period class, Belle stated, "I tried calling you two or three times from Orlando."
"Yeah, I called around a week after we left and your mom said that you had gone out for the evening to a party or something. Then, Shawn and I tried to call you the following Monday and Tuesday, but Craig answered both times and told us that you were out again. We were beginning to think that something had happened and your parents just didn't want to worry us."
"Belle, what could have possibly happened?"
While Belle contemplated a polite way to put her worries, Shawn blurted, "We thought that you and Jason had started fighting with each other again and gotten into some trouble with the cops or something."
"Trust me, you guys worry way too much," Chloe assured her friends.
"Chloe, you don't have to pretend with us, we know how much Jason tortures you," Belle softly said. "It's okay to admit that you two can't get along. Seriously, Chloe, even though he's our friend, we don't blame you for disliking Jason."
Appearing from seemingly thin air, Jason smoothly asked, "Did I hear my name?"
Shawn immediately offered his friend a high-five and said, "Jase, man, good to see you. How was boring, old Salem while we were frolicking on the beach?"
Belle's hand instantly slapped Shawn's chest for his arrogant comment.
"Actually, Shawn, Salem was . . . perfect. No place I'd rather have been."
Both Shawn and Belle's eyes squinted with mild confusion. Did Jason just say that he had enjoyed spending his spring break and senior vacation stuck in Salem? Could torturing Chloe have been that much fun?
"I agree," commented Chloe as she sent a frightfully sincere smile to Jason.
"Uh-huh," mumbled Shawn as he struggled to make sense of the maddening situation. "You both enjoyed being in Salem . . . with each other."
Placing his arms where he felt they belonged, Jason wrapped them around Chloe and gently pulled her close to him. While Shawn and Belle waited for Chloe to turn around and slap Jason to the floor, Principal Cohen walked by the teens. Under his breath, the principal commented, "If it weren't such a strange sight, I'd write you two up on PDA. Then again, at least this alternative keeps you quiet and out of trouble."
His arms still wrapped around Chloe's waist, Jason pressed his face close to hers and asked, "I'll meet you after your rehearsal and we can grab something to eat. Sound good?"
Chloe moved as close to Jason's body as she could as she recalled the heavenly way his skin felt against hers. "That'll be great. Ooh, Craig and Nancy are leaving this afternoon for a conference in Chicago. So, if you want, we can hang out at my house and watch some movies and munch on popcorn."
"What if we run out of movies?"
"I guess we'll just have to find other ways to entertain ourselves," whispered Chloe just loud enough for Jason to hear.
Watching the surreal event playing out before them, Shawn and Belle found themselves incapable of speech. It looked like . . . no, there was no way Jason and Chloe could be . . . together. No way.
"Uh," murmured Belle in an attempt at coherent speech.
"Ooh, I just had a thought," proclaimed Chloe. "How about you drive the pick-up tonight? I'm dying to see just how awesome it is for a ten or fifteen year old truck."
Rolling his eyes and smiling, Jason commented, "Baby, you sure you wouldn't rather be picked up in my Civic?"
With a giggle, Chloe asked, "The truck doesn't run does it?"
"The damn thing won't even start," laughed Jason.
His eyes darting back and forth between his two friends, Shawn meekly questioned, "Did we miss something?"
"That's what we want to know," Philip stated as he and Mimi joined the gang. "What the hell went on around here while we were gone?"
"Well," Jason answered. "We watched The Three Stooges one time."
Reluctantly sliding out of Jason's reassuring arms, Chloe approached her locker and began to retrieve the binder she would need for her first class. Her locker door still open, Chloe added, "Don't forget we watched The Big Easy, too."
"How could I forget?"
Happening to glance into Chloe's open locker, Belle saw something that brought a smile to her face. Discretely tapping Shawn's arm, Belle motioned in the direction of Chloe's locker. His eyes also falling upon the photograph, Shawn reluctantly smiled. It looked to be a shot of Jason and Chloe at a party of some sort. Both looked slightly dressed up and incredibly happy.
The sound of the ringing bell filled the hallway, and students began to slam shut their lockers and scurry to their first class. Seeing that none of his friends were showing any signs of movement, Jason suggested, "Why don't we all go to class. Chloe and I can explain everything later."
"But . . ." Mimi began to protest.
"Sounds like a plan," Philip commented with a smile as he pulled his inquisitive girlfriend toward the classroom.
With immense reluctance, Belle grumbled, "Fine, I'll go to Psychology, but I want the full scoop later."
With an amused shake of her head, Chloe vowed, "Like Jase said, we'll explain later."
Forced to settle for a later explanation, Belle headed off to class. Shawn, however, chose to linger just out of Jason and Chloe's sight. Doomed to always play the role of protector, Shawn just wanted to make sure that his friends were really okay.
Believing they were alone in the hallway, Jason and Chloe quickly moved closer to one another as though the magnetism between them was too powerful to exist.
After placing a kiss first on Chloe's lips then her forehead, Jason quietly commented, "I can't wait until tonight. I already miss being alone with you."
With a content smile, Chloe surmised, "So, you're still not having any regrets about last night."
"None. Do you?"
Chloe shook her head and responded, "Last night changed everything – for the better. I could never regret spending the night with you or sharing your bed."
After placing one more kiss on Chloe's inviting lips, Jason said, "I really do love you . . . Ghoul Girl."
"Yeah, well, you're a jerk . . . but I love you, too."
As Jason and Chloe finally began walking to class, Shawn smiled to himself and muttered, "Yeah, everything is going to be just fine."