CHAPTER – 1 BPOV BECAUSE YOU NEEDED ME
Once my lover, now my friend.
What a cruel thing to pretend.
What a cunning way to condescend.
Once my lover, now my friend.
Oh, you creep up like the clouds.
And you set my soul to ease.
Then you let your love abound.
And you bring me to my knees.
Oh, its evil, babe, the way you let your grace enrapture me.
When, well, you know, Id be insane -
To ever let that dirty game recapture me.
You made me a shadowboxer, baby.
I wanna be ready for what you do.
I been swinging all around me.
cause I don't know when you're gonna make your move.
Oh, your gaze is dangerous.
And you fill your space so sweet.
If I let you get too close,
You'll set your spell on me.
So, darlin, I just wanna say.
Just in case I don't come through.
I was on to every play.
I just wanted you.
But, oh, its so evil, my love,
The way you've no reverence to my concern.
So, Ill be sure to stay wary of you, love,
To save the pain of once my flame and twice my burn.
You made me a shadowboxer, baby.
I wanna be ready for what you do.
I been swinging all around me.
cause I don't know when you're gonna make your move.
-Shadowboxer by Fiona Apple
My fingers shook as I cut the engine off. I felt around on the seat for my knapsack and quickly dug into the front pocket for the key card that Emmett provided me with. I took in a deep breath and hoped like hell if I got caught I wouldn't get into trouble. I was dead tired and in dire need of some sleep. Stealing the last of my reserve I yanked roughly on the door handle and propelled myself out of the humid cab. Quickly I locked the door and slammed it shut then took off across the parking lot. It was muggy outside and a dense fog was settling over the city. It was much too early for anyone to be here. I glanced down at my watch to check the time. It was 2AM. That meant that I could get a decent three hours in before people started to show up. I opened the back door and slid in silently. I swiped my car through the reader and entered into the employee lounge. Eyeballing the couch appreciatively I made my way to it and plopped down.
God, it feels good to just stretch out.
After a few moments however I soon realized that while it might be hot outside it was fucking freezing in here. I reluctantly rose and went in search of the thermostat. After about ten minutes of fruitless hunting I gave up and began looking for a blanket.
You're in a gym retard, there are no blankets.
Then I realized there were probably fresh towels in the locker rooms. I could use one of those. They looked big enough when Emmett showed me around the laundry room this morning. I made my way down the hall and into the main annex of the gym. It was empty. The gym was 24 hours but it was pretty much desolate after 1AM. The locker room door was heavy and stained around the metal hand guard.
Pushing it open slowly I let my eyes adjust to the dim lighting. The walls in here were a grimy sea-foam green color. The lockers were beat-up and the gray paint was flaking and cracking off of them. As I neared the first row of lockers and benches I felt the hairs on the back of my neck start to rise. Something wasn't right in here. My shoulders began to tense and I slowed my already snail like pace. As I came closer to the corner my breathing became shallower. Something really wasn't right in here. Then I spotted him.
The bronze shock of hair contrasted greatly in the dim florescent lighting. He was lying on his stomach with his right arm stretched out in front of him as if he were reaching for something. His face was turned to the side at an odd angle and there was blood all over him. There was a duffle bag sitting open on the bench next to him with clothes and towels spilling out. I rushed to his side and took in his shirtless state. The paleness of his skin was amplified in the lighting and caused the bruises over his body to stand out abnormally.
He must have been dressing when someone attacked him.
I ran my hands over his back and then up his extended arm. He groaned and I pulled my hand away. He felt warm and tingly, like there was a current just humming under his flesh. His back was littered with baseball size bruises.
"Are you alright?"
He didn't answer me but made to push himself up off the concrete floor. Before he got very far his elbows gave out and he fell back down. I groaned then, because that shit just looked painful.
"Sir, can you tell me your name? Can you tell me what happened?"
Of course, no answer.
It took a lot of my strength to roll him over but when I did I almost fainted. There was just too much blood. Jesus, he was cut up everywhere. Nasty thick bruises were forming on his ribs and chest. He had them ribboning around his shoulders and neck. His left eye was swollen almost completely shut and a deep gash over the eyebrow with another cut on the apple of his cheek. Small cuts about an inch long were sporadically placed around his torso. His mouth was caked with blood and I had a feeling he might have knocked a few teethe loose or at least cut up the inside of his mouth. His lower lip was plump and split in two places.
Jesus, somebody did a number on you buddy.
I leaned down and placed my ear next to his nose and mouth and listened to his breathing. Then I checked his pulse. He was breathing fine, maybe a little shallow and rough but his lungs seemed to be okay. His pulse was steady and strong. I looked over and saw a black shirt lying on the bench over the duffel. Snatching it and smelling it I decided it was clean. I rocked forward onto my knees and slipped my arms under his and around to his back.
Damn, you're heavy.
With all the strength I could possibly muster I pulled him up into a sitting position and managed to get the shirt on him. He groaned again and one of his arms snaked around my waist.
"Hey? Can you hear me?" I asked softly. I was right next to his ear and I'm sure his head was going to be pounding after the beating it took.
"What happened?" He was wheezing and I knew that had to hurt.
"I don't know. I just found you like this. Can you tell me your name?"
"Alright Edward, lets get you out of here and put back together."
"But you need help…"
"No. No hospital."
He was losing volume in his voice and I knew it wouldn't be long until he was unconscious again. I had to act fast. With whatever strength the adrenaline was giving me I slid my arms securely under his arm pits and tried to lift with my legs and not my back. He was rock solid weight on me. I felt him try to rise with me and was thankful for that. As soon as he was standing we fell back against the lockers and he hissed in pain.
"Sorry" I murmured.
With one arm I reached out to his duffel bag and with the other I held him against the lockers. I stuffed his belongings into the bag haphazardly and zipped it halfway closed. I slung the bag over my shoulder and as gently as I could, leaned him against me. We made it all the way out of the locker room and into the annex before he needed a break. I stopped for a moment and his knees buckled slightly. I gave him a few seconds before I started to move us forward again. As we neared the back of the building where the parking lot was accessible I wondered if he drove here or walked. There was no way he was going to drive himself home. So as we left the gym I steered him toward my truck and leaned him against the passenger side while I fished for my keys. Once the door was open I had to practically toss him inside. He seemed to wake up a little and lifted his legs up and onto the floorboards. I threw his bag into the bed of the truck and raced over to my side. Once in the driver's seat he slid down and laid his head on my lap. I froze for a moment before starting the truck up and backing out of the lot.
"Where do you live?"
"Hey, Edward? C'mon I need to know where you live."
"593 Bakers St… uhh in the Brandon Apartments, ummm number 23." He moaned his way through the entire thing while nuzzling into my lap. Thankfully he was mashing the good side of his face into my thigh. I felt really bad for him.
I nodded, not knowing at all where that was. I would have to stop and ask for directions. He was in no shape to be giving them.
Jesus, its 3 in the morning there's no one to ask.
I drove down the street and spied a lit up sign for a 24 hour drug store. I quickly pulled into the lot and grabbed my wallet from under the bench before gently getting out of the car making sure to let his head down onto the seat softly. He sighed and shifted slightly. I left the truck running for him and ran into the store. Not knowing if he had anything at his apartment for tending to wounds I found the first aid isle and grabbed gauze, a huge tube of off brand Neosporin, some hydrogen peroxide, and some tape. I also found a box of gauze band-aids in assorted sizes along with some butterfly strips and a small suture kit. It would take half of all the money I had left to pay for it but I couldn't take the chance that he didn't have the supplies at his apartment.
I paid for the items and asked the woman at the counter if she could point me in the direction of Bakers St. She kindly gave me directions and I was soon out of the store and approaching the truck. I noticed he had sat up and leaned against the passenger side door of the cab. I hopped in and set the bag of supplies down on the floorboards and put the truck in reverse. He groaned when the truck jerked into life and slid back down to rest his head on my lap. I fidgeted slightly but pushed those feelings aside.
The man's severely injured for Christ's sake and you're getting giddy from his head in your lap?
Bakers St. was easy to find and I silently said a prayer for the woman in the drug store. Once I was parked in front of the building I had to think about how I was going to get him up there. Realizing that it was probably better to just dive right in and work the kinks out along the way I grabbed the bag of medical provisions and sat him straight up so that it would be easier to get him out of the truck. He swayed but remained upright. Once out of the truck I locked the driver's side door and grabbed his duffel out of the bed and stuffed the drugstore bag inside. I slung it over my shoulder and proceeded to open his door. He spilled out of the cab so fast I only had time to catch him with my torso. Quickly, I slung his arm around my shoulders and maneuvered his legs around so he could slide out. He toppled hard at first and I feared he would take us both down onto the sidewalk but he quickly regained composure and weakly leaned against me. In a swift motion I locked the door, pulled him away from the truck and kicked the door shut while juggling him and the bag.
"Do you have your keys?"
His head lolled back and his eyes fluttered for a moment before he reached his dangled hand around to his pockets. I already knew they were empty. Sighing heavily I leaned him on the building and swung the duffel around to dig into it. I felt around and finally found the jeans he must have been wearing into the gym. The keys were attached to a belt loop by a carabineer. Unsnapping them I worked my way through three keys before I found the correct one and finally had the door open. Awkwardly we both made our way through the door where we came into the foyer. I looked at the brass plate on the wall to our right and saw that room 23 was on the second floor of the building. My eyes narrowed at the stairs and then relief hit me when I saw the elevator. We trudged toward it and I jammed my thumb on the 'up' arrow. In his state his arm tightened around my neck and I felt a chill go up my back. When the elevator dinged he jumped and his eyes snapped open. He looked startled for a moment. Realizing his location he slumped back against me so I had to readjust him before he sent us both falling.
After what seemed like an eternity on the elevator we finally made it to his door where it only took me two tries to get the right key. The apartment was pitch dark and I fumbled for a switch. I felt sweaty and achy already. It seemed the adrenaline was wearing off now. With no time to really familiarize myself with the surroundings I found my prize and the entranceway was lit enough for me to see into the living room and part of the kitchen. The duffel bag was quickly discarded and we stumbled forward together. After a brief round of 'eni meani minie moe' I led us down the right side of the apartment and into what was thankfully the master bedroom. I made a beeline for the bathroom and flicked the light on before setting him down on the toilet seat. He slumped back onto the seat. He was out again. I swiftly made my way back to the duffel and grabbed the entire thing hauling it into the bathroom with me. There I fished out the plastic bag that held my goodies. When I was done setting everything out of the counter I gingerly leaned him forward and pulled off his shirt. It was like picking up a sleeping cat. He was spilling everywhere and groaning.
Sorry, but it's got to be done.
I debated on taking his jeans off and then decided I might as well be thorough however when I reached his boxers I determined that that was thorough enough. His upper thighs had baseball size bruises on them. The contusions on his abdomen and neck were already turning shades of dark burgundy red. I knew these were the freshest ones. He also had greenish brown bruises littered here and there. They were older.
How many fights do you get into buddy?
I started by wetting a towel and wiping down his body. He would moan or hiss occasionally but otherwise remain silent. I found a bag of cotton balls and some Q-tips and went to work with the hydrogen peroxide. Once done I began to apply the ointment to his cuts. They were superficial and not deep at all. Only two required a bandage. I took in his appearance little by little now that I had a chance and he was a fine specimen. I didn't have much time to dwell on the finer points of his body however. He was extremely pail. He was sporting an eight pack and broad shoulders. He wasn't crazy built but his muscles were cut sharp. I notices the way his deltoids cut sharply into his triceps. His pecks looked smooth and pillowed but when I rubbed the cream over them they were rock solid. When I finished with his torso I leaned him forward and applied the salve to his back scratches.
Now I needed to fix up his head. I grabbed another wash cloth and wet it with warm water. As I leaned over him and began to gingerly wipe his face his hands shot up and grabbed me around my ribs. I froze and held stock still until he made another move. After about thirty seconds of stillness I began to move the towel over his cut brow. His face scrunched up but he never opened his eyes or moved his hands. He kept a steady pressure on me and didn't squeeze too hard. I felt that hum of current again but pushed it aside. I had a task and I was going to accomplish it. Once the dried blood was wiped away I grabbed the hydrogen peroxide and made sure to douse the cut on his cheek thoroughly and then patted it dry. The butterflies worked great on it. The one on his eyebrow was going to need to be stitched. I repeated the cleansing process on it and turned to the suture kit I had procured. Reading the directions over at least five times I removed the items and then thought better of doing it here like this.
I assumed the position to pick him up and he again helped me raise him. I staggered a little then gained my balance. After what seemed like three turn rounds and almost dropping him twice I got him to the bed and had him under the covers. He sighed deeply and I couldn't help but smirk at his satisfaction. His breathing leveled out and I realized I had been staring at his face for almost a full minute. He really was breathtaking. His hair reminds me of a frayed copper wire. Shuffling back to the bathroom I snatch up the suture kit and settle myself down next to him on the large bed. The bedside lamp is enough to see by. His mouth had parted slightly and despite the swollen eye and cut up face he was beautiful. I was as gentle as possible with the stitching and made sure to keep her rows as straight as possible. Once I was done I tied it off and snipped the thread. Smiling at my handiwork I softly slid off the bed and made to clean up the bloody mess in the bathroom. After some digging I found a bottle of Aleve and set it next to the bed.
I couldn't help but look at him a little while he slept. Jesus he was pretty.
Can guys be pretty? Yes, yes they can and he is so pretty.
I sighed and my hand seemed to reach out of its own accord towards his hair. I snatched it back before it could reach its destination.
He's asleep, he won't notice if you touch his hair. You know you want to. It looks so damn soft. Just one pass though it. Just one and we won't do it again.
My hand was already stretched back out toward him and as soon as my fingers weaved into his auburn locks I was stunned.
Mmmmm, it is as soft as it looks.
He hummed sleepily and rolled onto his side leaning into my touch and I yanked my hand back as if it were burned. I backed away from the bed and turned to leave the room before I did something else creepy.
Do I stay or do I leave now? He seems alright. He should be fine. But what if he doesn't know what happened to him? What if he freaks out when he can't figure out what happened to him? I'll just stay until he wakes up and I have a chance to explain what happened. Then I'll leave and it will be over. Jesus, I'm getting tired.
Before I hadn't had a chance to view his apartment however now looking at it, it was really nice. Come to think of it, the outside looked damn nice too. It was a two bedroom apartment from the looks of things with an open floor plan. It was pristine clean. There was a baby grand piano in the back corner of the living room, a black leather couch in the center which was fronted with a glass and rough iron coffee table. A large flat screen TV mounted to the wall was the only decoration besides the low shelving beneath it with assorted electronics on it. Against the back wall of the living room there was a sophisticated looking stereo and shelves upon shelves of CD's and vinyl records. The back wall of the apartment held large windows with billowy curtains.
As I neared the kitchen I smelled something sour. When I saw the sink I understood why. There were dishes piled up to the point where they spilled out onto the counter tops. To Go boxes dominated the island. It was such a shame too because all the appliances looked new. All stainless steel and shiny. The stove didn't look like it had ever been used. There was a blender in the corner that seemed to be cultivating a new breed of mold. It was almost tied with the cup of…well something that was wedged between the toaster and microwave.
Without anything else to do I rolled my shoulders back and popped open his dishwasher noting that it smelled like plastic still and didn't seem to have ever had a load of dishes passed through it. I glanced around under the cabinets and found some Cascade that was conveniently brand new with the safety seal still on it. The sponges and brillo pads were still in the wrapping too. Before long I had whittled the mess down to nothing and listened with envy as the dishwasher made next to no noise as it ran. Upon further digging into this strange mans, I mean Edward's, apartment I found the trash bags and proceeded to chuck all the Styrofoam boxes. I opened his fridge and began to toss all the old fruits and veggies that seemed to be melting away in it. Once done with that I quietly tiptoed out of his apartment and down the hall to the garbage shoot. When I made my way back in I heard him shuffling around in the bedroom. Glancing at the hall clock I realized it was only five in the morning. It seemed like it should have been so much later.
Did it really only take two hours to get him back here and cleaned up?
I padded into the bedroom and noticed he had rolled over onto his other side. He was almost fetal under the comforter when I came near him. I tucked the blankets up around his body. After assuring myself that he had slept on his own for years now and more than likely wouldn't be rolling off the bed anytime soon I left for the living room. I had no idea when he would be awake but I decided he would need to eat when he did so I planned on leaving for the grocers around six. I sat back on his couch intending to wait for six to roll around when I caught sight of the books littered underneath the coffee table. I began to flip through one when I lost track of time and had to dash out of the apartment.
The grocers was nearly deserted and the poor kid who was manning the counter looked as if he were going to pass out any second or at least fall back asleep as soon as I left. I chuckled at him while I grabbed a small basket and he smiled sheepishly at me. I started pulling items off the shelf and soon enough I had enough for a decent breakfast: a loaf of bread, a half gallon of milk, butter, eggs, cheese, side of bacon, carton of OJ. I paid for my things and left quietly. The sun was starting to mark the skyline and I frowned at the frizzy wisps of hair that floated into my vision.
I must look like hell.
By the time I made it back it was seven and I was starting to get lightheaded with fatigue. There was no way I was going to be able to make it through the day without a nap. Sighing, I entered the apartment silently and placed my goods on the kitchen countertop and sorted through them. I placed all the cold things in the fridge and put together a small bag of ice wrapped in a dishtowel before I began my journey into his bedroom. The more time I spent in this apartment the more I felt out of place. This wasn't my home, these weren't my things, that wasn't my kitchen, and this wasn't my bedroom I was walking towards. This man that I didn't even really know could have done any number of things. He could have been the first to attack someone else. He could hurt people. He could be a crazy lunatic. But I was committed to taking care of him so I would. I could see the room better now that sunlight was peeking around the thick forest green curtains. Funny how I hadn't noticed those before. I took in the surroundings of the room in better detail now that I wasn't worrying about him bleeding to death.
The bed was a king with a large wrought iron headboard and footboard. I already knew the sheets were as soft as they looked. The room was just as simply furnished as the rest of the apartment and I assume that says a lot about this person. A long dark dresser lined the wall opposite the bed and a cushioned bench rested against the base of the bed. I crept up to the side of the bed and saw his sleeping face lying pressed into the pillow. His eye didn't seem to be too bad anymore. Much of the swelling had actually gone down since I washed it but it was still oddly puffy. I knew the cold compress would likely wake him but it was better to start it now than later when the swelling returned with a vengeance. I sat as daintily as I could beside him and reached over to lightly press the bundle of ice against his eye. He groaned and shifted but only slightly before stilling.
I sat like that until the ice melted completely and I had to get more. He was so pretty. I mean he was handsome and good-looking, dashing, attractive, charming, brawny, exquisite, immaculate, strapping. And he was masculine. But in all my life I have never met a man I would call pretty and that's just what he was. He had this beauty about him. On my third bag of ice I noticed it was getting to be around nine o clock and his swelling was down to a reasonable level. From what I could see he should be able to open his eye some.
I should wake him soon. I need to be at work at 2.
I unloaded the dishwasher and placed put everything away guessing at their locations then preceded onto breakfast. I fixed up the eggs with the cheese, fried up the bacon, and toasted the bread lightly, spreading it with butter. I opted to pour a glass of orange juice and milk and if he didn't like either I would drink it. I couldn't find anything to use as a tray so I balanced the plate fork and glasses precariously and cautiously made my way to him.
He was sprawled out now with his arms above his head and one of his legs bend up. He had the pillow mashed over his face. I grinned.
Seems like someone's feeling better.
I set the food down on the nightstand along with the glasses. He stirred slightly then again resumed his soft snores.
I reached out and softly shook his shoulder.
After a few more useless shakes I grabbed the pillow and pulled it off his head. He grumbled but didn't wake up. I walked over to the window and threw the curtains open.
I heard a hiss behind me.
That should do it.
"What the hell…"
"Well, good morning to you too."
He looked confused as to why a woman was standing in his bedroom. Cautiously he lifted his bed sheets and looked down at his state of dress. I stifled a giggled and walked over to him with my hands held up in surrender. He looked at me like I was going to kill him. I smiled at him and pointed at the plate of food beside him. He looked at it strangely.
"It's not poisoned. Promise."
"Who are you and what are you doing in my apartment?"
"What do you remember?"
"Um…" He rubbed the back of his neck and winced. His hand gingerly touched his face and he looked up at me startled.
"I was at the gym. I just finished my training for the night. In the locker room…"
"Do you know who beat you up?"
His face went from shock to pissed so fast I actually flinched a little. He stared down at his clenched fists then seemed to remember I was in the room. His head snapped up and he looked at me with the greenest damn eyes I had ever seen. He seemed to have settled back to shock. I smirked at him and handed him the plate of food. He looked at it dumbly before lifting the fork and eating a bite of the eggs. After the first tentative bite he dove into and cleaned the plate in less than five minutes. I chuckled at him and gestured toward the two glasses beside him and the Aleve.
"I didn't know if you prefer juice or milk so I brought both. I'll drink whatever you don't want."
He grabbed the milk and Aleve. I took the juice and sipped on it while he downed three pills and finished the milk. I sat down next to him on the bed and took the plate and glass from him to set them back on the table. He watched every movement I made with measure. I started to feel a little self conscience about my appearance in front of this male god. He had the shit beat out of him and he makes it look like he's going in for a photo shoot. I wanted to bitch about it but stuffed those feelings down.
Make sure he is okay and go. Just check him over and tell him what happened and leave.
"I found you in the locker rooms this morning. You told me where you lived and I brought you back here and cleaned you up. Before you ask, nothing happened other than bandaging. I left your underwear on and I saw nothing. The only thing I think you have to worry about is that eye. I stitched up your eyebrow and I'm sorry if it's not the best work in the world but it's the best I could do."
"Why didn't you take me to the hospital?" His voice had a hard edge to it. He seemed peeved at my presence.
"You told me not to. You were very…adamant about 'no hospitals'."
He had the decency to look sheepish at that and his voice was kind when he spoke next.
"Thank you. For everything, I don't know how to repay you for what you've done."
"I don't expect you to. Now that you're okay I'll be going unless you need anything. I have to go to work today."
"Why were you in the locker rooms?"
"I work at the gym."
"No you don't."
"We'll I'm there everyday. I've never seen you before."
"That's because I start today. Emmett showed me around yesterday."
"Yeah so….Look I don't have any sort of hidden agenda here so I'm going to go. I didn't take anything from your apartment. Clearly, you know where I work so its not like you won't be able to find me in case something appears to be missing. I'm really sorry about what happened and I hope that whoever did this to you gets what's coming to them."
I stood to leave and he grabbed my arm.
There's that humming again.
"Wait… do you have to go now?"
"No, I suppose I don't. Did you need something else?"
"Well now that you put it like that, no I don't. You've already done so much. I just wanted to talk to you. It seems like you have spent a good amount of time with me and I have no idea who you are. What's your name?"
He smiled so I sat back down on the bed facing him. He leaned back against the headboard and just stared at me with this strange grin on his face. Normally I would be nervous about someone openly staring and smiling at me however I couldn't feel any unease around him. It just seemed like something he did. The grin turned into a smug smile and I realized I was staring openly back at him. As if it were timed my face flamed and I looked down at my lap.
"What time do you have to be at the gym?"
"Plenty of time for us to get to know each other then."
"I would think it would be appropriate for me to want to get to know the woman that saved my life."
"I didn't save your life. You would have been fine there. It would have probably sucked a lot to wake up on a cold, disgusting, locker room, floor but you would have survived. You don't strike me as the wilting flower type."
He chuckled and then grimaced while clutching his side. I felt for him. He composed himself quickly enough and shrugged it off as if it were a normal occurrence to be in pain like that.
"Will you do me a favor though?"
He quirked an eyebrow at me and I shrugged my shoulders.
"Since I saved your life an all…"
"Alright, what is it?"
"Will you promise to stay in bed and take it easy for a day? I know you said you go to the gym everyday but honestly there is no way you should be going anywhere today."
"I'll consent to your promise on one condition."
"You come back here after work and talk to me some more."
Well that was rather blunt. No beating around a bush on that one. He seemed so sure of himself when he made the statement.
"Because I enjoy your company. Do you have other plans?"
"No, not at all, I just don't understand why you would want me to come back."
"Why did you help me in the gym? Like you said, I would have been fine."
"Because you needed me."
The answer popped out of my mouth before I could filter it and I grabbed the dishes quickly to rush out of the room. I rinsed them off in the sink and placed them in the dishwasher. I heard his heavy steps on the hardwood floors and he came into the kitchen. He had put on a pair of grey sweats but didn't put on a shirt. I gaped at his chest. Jesus he was…amazing. I had no other word to supplement the feel I was getting in the pit of my stomach. The way his abs flexed as he took a step. The way his pecs and shoulder muscles flexed when he moved his arms. Jesus I felt like I was molesting him by just looking.
"You didn't have to clean my kitchen. Jesus, I feel horrible now. Not only do you drag my sorry ass back here and fix me up you cleaned up my kitchen."
"It really isn't a big deal. I just have a clean kitchen complex. I apologize if I overstepped any boundaries by cleaning up. I really do have to get to work now."
"You can use the bathroom to clean up if you want I don't mind. It's the least I could do for you."
Actually getting clean sounded amazing and I couldn't very well make myself feel guilty about it. Technically it was kinda his fault I got all sweaty and dirty. I smiled brightly at him and nodded my head.
"Thank you. I'll be quick I promise."
"Please, take your time." He smiled back at me and padded out into the living room. I went out to my truck and dug my own duffle bag out from under the bench and tossed it over my shoulder. I needed to do laundry soon. I gripped the bag and took the stairs instead of the elevator. Once inside I shuffled into the bathroom and locked the door. I stared at the shower with what I'm sure was a look that said I wanted to rape it. I stripped down hastily and stepped under the spray. It was heaven. I hadn't had a real shower in days. I sighed and proceeded to wash myself as thoroughly as possible. The shower seemed to relax me and wake me up at the same time and for that I was grateful. Once I was done I changed into a pair of comfy jeans and an old t-shirt. Emmett had gym employee shirts for me anyway so it really didn't matter. I stuffed my toiletries back into the duffel and headed out to say goodbye to Edward.
He was still on the couch watching TV. At my appearance he sat up and waved me over. I stood awkwardly next to him and he seemed just as uncomfortable as I did which made me feel better about the whole thing.
"So you'll come back when you're done at the gym?"
"Will you stay here and rest today?"
A full out smile lit his face and I beat down the fifteen year old girl inside of me so she wouldn't squeal. I smiled back at him, perhaps a little late but I managed to get it out and began to back towards the door. With every step back I took he took one forward. I felt the doorknob press into my hip and jumped. He chuckled at me and I blushed.
"Well, umm. Do you need me to bring anything when I come later on tonight?"
"Nope, just you."
I nodded and ducked my head before turning and flying out the door. I heard his laughter fading down the hall as I flew down the stairs.
There was something about him. Something I couldn't put my finger on but something told me that he wanted more than just some chit chat later on.