Wow...I really think my head just might explode.
It was Jordan's first thought upon waking up, followed quickly by, Oh. My. God. What curled up and died in my mouth?
She rolled over onto her side and began to rummage blindly through the bedside drawer for some Tylenol and maybe a breath mint. Or two. Her fingers brushed across the bottle. Great. Two pills left. Yeah, she'd be needing more than two Tylenol today.
She finally pried her eyes opened and emptied the bottle in her hand. She glanced over at the clock. Almost 9:30 in the morning. Her mind ran through the events of the last twelve hours. New Year's Eve get-together...her place...champagne...lots of it.
The rest of the details were a bit hazy. Like the bottle of nail polish on her nightstand. Sassy Red. She'd bought it a couple of months ago and never wore it. Sassy Red looked somehow much better in the bottle than on actual nails. So...why was it now on her nightstand?
She supposed she should get up and start the day, but it was taking a monumental effort to even sit up in bed. She groaned and hoisted herself off her side and into a sitting position. She scanned her bleary eyes across the room at the wreckage from the night before. Suddenly, she let out a shriek and scrambled to the far corner of the bed.
Never mind the nail polish. How did Woody end up lying next to her in bed? Naked, too, by all appearances.
"Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no." she muttered.
He stirred then, one eye at a time. He let out a lazy little smile when he saw her. Then as reality dawned, he sat bolt upright in bed and flattened himself against her headboard.
"Jordan! What am I...did we just...Jeez," he sputtered. "Are you naked?"
"What does it look like?" She hissed and pulled the sheet up around her bare shoulders.
His head fell back with a thud against the wall behind him. "Jeez...."
"No, no, no! This can't be what it looks like," she gulped. "Can it?"
"I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explanation for us winding up together in your bed. Naked. And hungover. Perfectly innocent," he deadpanned.
"I'm sure." She nodded earnestly. "Right? I...just can't seem to remember. "
He rubbed at his temples. "Apparently it involved getting hit with a Mack truck. Can you pass me that Tylenol?"
"Sorry. It's empty."
He moaned. "Great."
"I think I've got some Midol in the bathroom," she offered.
"Which would be perfect if I were retaining water."
"It has acetaminophen in it. It's the same as Tylenol," she scolded mildly.
"Fine, fine. Just don't yell, Jordan. Please...don't yell," he groaned.
She swung her legs over her side of the bed still wrapped in half of the sheet, then hesitated.
"What is it, Jordan?"
"Turn around. Close your eyes or something."
"Apparently, I've already seen you in your birthday suit," he said with a slight leer.
"Do it!" He covered his hands with his eyes. She dropped the sheet and picked up her robe from the chair next to the bed. She shuffled into the bathroom and searched the medicine cabinet for the Midol.
This was so very, very bad. She had absolutely no recollection of the last ten hours or so, and now Woody was lying stark-naked in her bed. After dancing around each other for the better part of three years, it appeared they had thrown caution, along with most of their clothes, to the wind. What would this do to their relationship? How could she face him and everyone at work? Oh, yes, this was very bad indeed.
She took a deep breath and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked even worse than she felt, if that were possible.
There's some perfectly innocent explanation. Just like he said, she reassured herself.
She exited the bathroom with the pills and some water and even tried to manage a smile. He nodded weakly in thanks and swallowed them down.
He took a deep breath then and threw the cover off of himself.
"Woody!" she yelped and slapped her hands over her eyes. "Give me some warning, would you?"
There was a silence. Then he spoke. "This is interesting..."
She spread her fingers and peered through them. He was still wearing a pair of boxers. "You've got your boxers on! This is good...this is good, right? I mean if you're still wearing your boxers, then it means we probably didn't...." Her voice trailed off.
"I guess so...yeah." He sighed with relief. "Yeah, I guess so."
She gave him a weak smile and exhaled. "Well. That's good."
"Unless? Wait, there's no unless!"
"Unless I got up, you know...afterwards...to go to the bathroom or something and put them on."
She moaned and sank back down onto the bed. There was another silence and then he jumped off the bed with a roar.
She whipped around. "What is it?!" He was staring down at the floor in utter horror. He lifted one leg up, put his foot down onto the bed, and pointed to it with disgust.
His toenails had been painted a shade of bright red. Sassy Red, to be exact.
"What did you do to me, Jordan?!"
"Please tell me you have polish remover."
She tried to recall the contents of her medicine cabinet. "I don't think so."
"I'm on call later today, Jordan. I can't let the guys see me like this!"
"Why? Do you work barefoot?"
"This isn't funny, Jordan."
"Sorry. If I didn't laugh, I think I'd start crying." She cocked her head and squinted down at his foot. "It looks better on you than me, somehow."
He yanked his foot away and paced nervously across the floor. "Okay. Okay. We need to calm down. Assess the situation."
"Right." She stood across the bed from him. "Right. Okay, let's see...you came over last night for a New Year's party..."
"...there was a lot of champagne...."
"...a lot of champagne..."
"...I ate some stuffed jalapenos, Which were excellent, by the way..."
"..drank yet more champagne..."
"...I do remember dancing with you, Jordan..."
His voice dropped. "...and I do recall standing under the last of the Christmas mistletoe with you..." He cleared his throat.
"Mmmm." She felt herself blushing. Ah, that.
"And the next thing I remember is..." He stopped and waved his hands over the bed.
They both nodded slowly as the awkward realization sank in.
"Well..." he said.
They both turned and perched uneasily on opposite sides of the bed, unable to look the other in the eye.
"This certainly adds a new twist to our relationship," she said.
"There's an understatement." There was an uncomfortable silence.
"Wow." She shook her head in disbelief. "We...did it." She said, not quite able to phrase it in anything other than a schoolgirl euphemism.
"We did it," he repeated.
"So. What do we do now, Woody?"
He lifted one knee up onto the bed and faced her. "I don't know. What do you want to do?"
"I think we should..." she turned to face him. "I think we should...be adults about this."
"We can't pretend it didn't happen, but we can move on in a mature way. It'll just be this..." She was surprised to find a small smile creeping across her face.
"This special thing we had once."
He mirrored her with a wistful smile. "Yeah. I like that."
She looked across the bed and grinned at him, with his tousled bed-head and sleepy smile, arms around his knees. He had held her in those arms last night. With embarassment, she had to admit to herself that she the thought of it had crossed her mind more than once during the last few years. But he was Woody. Her friend, for Pete's sake. Nothing more. Right?
She found herself blushing again.
She looked down at the bed. "And who knows what the New Year holds?"
His hand slid across the bed and his fingers brushed against hers. She looked up at him then. She leaned forward ever-so-slightly, and he followed. There was no point in denying her feelings anymore. Not with what had already happened. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes...
The phone rang. Her eyes snapped open. She leapt to the floor and picked up the phone.
"Jordan! It's Lily. Happy New Year! That was some party last night, huh?"
"Yeah, you could say that..." she laughed nervously.
"Well, I just called because I figured Woody would be looking for his keys about now."
"Yeah, we hid his keys last night. They're with the eggs in the fridge. He definitely was in no shape to drive. Boy, you two were a riot." She chuckled.
"Yeah! We were playing Truth or Dare, and you dared him to paint his toenails. I wish I'd had a camera!"
"Truth or Dare, huh?"
"And then there was some chugging contest with champagne, of all things. Yuck. Woody passed out, so Bug and Nigel helped him to bed."
"Well, yeah. Don't you remember?"
"I'm a little fuzzy," Jordan muttered. "And then you guys left?"
"Woody was snoring away in his boxers. You were so mad!"
"Yeah! The sofa was sopping wet, so you couldn't sleep there. Nigel isn't as handy opening a champagne bottle as he thinks he is. So, you either had to sleep on the floor or crash with Woody, who was sleeping like the dead."
"Is that right..."
"Uh huh," Lily snorted with amusement. "When we all headed out, you were kicking off your shoes grumbling how you weren't giving up your bed to anyone." Her laughter trailed off. "Sorry. But it was pretty funny."
"Yeah. Thanks, Lily. I'll see you tomorrow." She set the phone back down gently on the hook and turned back towards Woody. He looked back at her with expectant eyes.
"That was Lily," she began quietly. "I guess you were right. There was a perfectly innocent explanation for all this."
"Oh." He swallowed hard. "You mean, we didn't...?"
She shook her head. "Nope."
"Wow. I had you naked in bed next to me, and I slept through it," he muttered. There was an empty pause. "Oh, well. I guess I'd better head out in search of toenail polish remover."
He slid onto the floor and dressed hurriedly in silence. She walked with him to the door.
"So. All perfectly innocent, huh?" He said over his shoulder as he headed out.
"Perfectly innocent." She nodded. "Embarrassing and strange. But perfectly innocent."
He shrugged. "Oh, well. Does this mean we still can't have a 'special thing' between us?"
"'Fraid so, farmboy." He gave her a lopsided grin and headed down the hall.
She closed the door with a sigh. They hadn't slept together. She repeated it over to herself with relief.
We didn't sleep together. We didn't sleep together.
She leaned back against the door, surprised at the small ripple of disappointment. We didn't sleep together.
She ambled across the floor toward the bathroom. "Happy New Year, Jordan," she muttered to herself.
She jumped in for a much-needed shower. New beginnings. A fresh start. A time to change your ways, make new goals. Go after what you want.
Yes. Happy New Year, indeed. What was it that she had said to Woody? A grin spread across her face.
Who knows what the New Year holds?