Appropriately the song melissaturkey recommends for this chapter is "Undressed" by Howie Day :D

Before The Flames

Chapter 10: Pillow Talk

Gabriel

"Thank you!" Lilly was positively beaming as cool air blasted into the apartment from the repaired air conditioner.

"No prob," Gabriel flounced down on the blue and gray futon that occupied much of the small living space.

Lilly just stood there a moment letting the cool breeze blow on her neck and swirl her caramel-colored hair around her face. She looked positively delectable. Gabriel had to force himself to look away.

"So, I guess you'll need a pillow and blanket, huh?" Lilly broke the slight tension by springing into action, headed for the short "hallway" that held two doors to either side. She went into the right one and emerged with a pink throw pillow and a thin, blue cotton sheet. "Sorry, its all I have. But, with the temperature outside you probably don't need much more than this anyway right?" She shifted the sheet slightly in her hand.

"I probably won't even use it." He shrugged and took them from her. He smirked at the tiny pink pillow. "Very manly."

Lilly blushed sheepishly. "Well I'd give you mine but…I sort of drool a little in my sleep so…I figured you wouldn't want to use that one."

"This is fine." Gabriel smiled to himself. If she knew what he was she would not assume a little drool would bother him.

"Well…I have a class in the morning so… I better get some sleep." She waggled her fingers and backed out of the room smiling. "'Night."

"'Night" Gabriel gave a short wave and chuckled as he pulled out the futon and laid it flat.

Gabriel wondered what his mother would say if she knew what he was doing while he was away from her and the girls; living with a young woman he'd only just met, not just a virtual stranger, but a human.

He was contemplating this as he dropped his pants and removed his shirt and didn't sense the shocked human in the doorway until after she had cleared her throat.

Gabriel slowly turned around.

"Nice boxers." She commented, eyes nervously flickering up his body.

Gabriel smirked. "Did you need something?"

"Uh, yeah…uh my class is pretty early, so I'll be gone when you wake up. But I'll be back by noon so if you want to go out just make sure no one sees you leave or come back. I'm really not supposed to have anyone else staying here."

"Okay." Gabriel grinned. "Anything else?" He asked because she was still lingering in the doorway, eyes lingering on his body not his face.

"Uh, yeah. If you need to get back in and I'm not here, my neighbor across the hall has a key to my apartment. She's a really nice old lady. She'll let you in." Lilly exhaled and began backing back into her bedroom. "Um, good-night Gabriel."

"Good-night Lilly." Gabriel smiled smugly as he stretched out on his new bed.

He drifted to sleep with visions of a pretty face drooling on her pillow and her lithe body dancing around before his eyes.

***

When Gabriel awoke he stretched and yawned like a bear coming out of hibernation. Then he lay there a few minutes imagining what the pack was doing right now.

He knew his mother was probably crying over her quilting while the the triplets created Moon-only-knew what sort of trouble around the cabin, Lucy acting as ring leader of course. Bucky was probably still working on building that new shed for the riding equipment on the side of the barn; Gabriel was supposed to be helping him, now Bucky would have to enlist Paul's help. Jenny most likely was dinkering around in her garden.

No doubt Lucien was in the bar and Aunt Persia was creating some-sort of remedy in her cabin. Magda and Renata and Odessa would be scurrying around cooking and cleaning for the guests at the inn. Old Orlando Griffin would be telling stories to the pups playing in the yard and Astrid would be provoking Esme Gandillon into a fight over something trivial.

Sybil would be haggling over prices with customers in the gift shop and Rolf and Raul would be giving tours and leading hikes through the forest, showing the guests the best, safest scenic routes. Axel would be stealing smokes or getting into fights and the Five would be right there with him, following his lead. Vivian would be tagging along for the ride while making smart remarks and her father, Ivan Gandillon, their leader, would be watching over them all, helping out here and there and soothing disgruntled guests.

That was his home, his pack, and he felt a stab of loneliness at being away from them all. He knew he couldn't stay away from them long.

"Good afternoon, sunshine." Lilly breezed into the room from the tiny kitchen where she'd apparently been studying at the table.

"Hey," Gabriel sat up and made room for her to sit next to him. "What are you doing here? I thought you had a class."

"I did. I went. Now I'm back." She smiled her flawless smile. Gabriel got a thrill thinking of her sit there, occupying the space where he had slept.

"Want something to eat?"

"What do you have?"

"Lets see..." She held out a hand and ticked off her fingers as she went. "There's ramen noodles, cereal, leftover ramen noodles, cereal-oh and did I mention ramen noodles?" She laughed.

"Wow, real wide variety you have here." He pretended to think a moment. "Hmmm....I think I'll have to go with ramen noodles."

"Chicken, Beef, or Oriental?"

"Beef, please."

"Alright, chicken ramen noodles coming right up!" She announced and giggled as she danced her way back into the kitchen.

Gabriel rolled his eyes and flopped his head back down onto his pink pillow.

Review!