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The proposition, p.5
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       The Proposition, p.5

           Jessica Schlafer
Chapter 5

  I woke late that afternoon and spent the day inside because it was raining. I watched some terrible movies and read an entire book. I was going stir crazy when Paul found me in the living room.

  "There you are!" he exclaimed. "I was just in your room looking for you."

  "I couldn't take it anymore in there," I said. "What's up?"

  "I thought you'd like to go out and look for a car."

  "Um, no?"

  Paul laughed. "Come on, get dressed."

  We spent the remainder of the day driving around car lots until he found the perfect car for me. He paid with a check and told them he would need the car in two days. On our way back home, we stopped to have a late lunch.

  "With the exception of, well, just about everything, are you enjoying yourself out here?"

  I laughed. "It's really pretty here, I can see why you moved 3000 miles away."

  "You know, you're always welcome here. If you wanted to make a move out here, I'd do what I can to help you get settled."

  "I'll keep that in mind," I said. "I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up."

  Paul laughed, "I don't either, Abbs."

  The rest of the dinner passed with lighthearted conversation. We walked to the car in a heavy downpour and both jumped in the car, laughing.

  "Well, I was going to ask you if you wanted to try driving home, but with this rain, I guess not."

  "Yeah, I'm not ready for weather and driving," I laughed. "Besides, I'm sure you want to get home alive."

  "Oh, yes, but believe me, you will not leave Portland without learning how to drive."

  I laughed and rolled my eyes.

  Once we got home, we again made a run for it but, by the time we got inside, we were both drenched.

  "Well, my dear, that effectively ends my night. I'm going upstairs to shower and change. Then I'll be in my office for the rest of the night, doing some work. You okay on your own?"

  "Paul, I've lived by myself for the last six years, I'll be fine," I kissed him on the cheek. "I'm going to go shower and change, too. I'm gonna get cold standing around in this."

  I followed him up the stairs and went to my room. After my shower and change of clothes, I decided I'd do a video chat with my parents, separately, of course. Then, I checked my phone, which I had forgotten to do. There were eight missed calls and five missed texts from Nick. I called him right back and he answered almost immediately.

  "Hey," he said. "I heard you were going to buy a car today?"

  "Yepper," I said. "I have no idea what any of it is, so don't even ask. All I know is that it's cute and I look cute in it."

  "I bet you do," he took a deep breath. "What are you doing?"

  "Nothing, I've got my jammies on and I was gonna pop popcorn and watch a movie."

  "I'm coming to get you,” he said, hanging up the phone, ending the conversation.

  Excuse me!

  After about 25 minutes, there was a knock on my door and I opened to let Nick inside.

  “Just where do you think I’m going dressed like this?”

  “Come on, this is the kind of thing people who are dating do together. They’re getting pretty suspicious of us, that’s why all that went down yesterday with your bikini.”

  “Oh, let me get my shoes.”

  I looked at Nick’s face and was reminded of the brutality I witnessed the day before and I reminded myself that it was not something that I wanted to see again. Luckily, the other man was much smaller than Nick, otherwise he may not have been so lucky.

  “Nick, does it hurt?”

  Nick unconsciously touched his face. “Not really. Not anymore.”

  I reached out and touched his cheek.

  “I've had worse.” He said, pulling away. “Are you ready?”

  “Yeah, let's go.”

  Nick drove us to his house, a smaller home. It looked perfectly suited for a single man. He took me inside and showed me around. It was definitely a man’s home. There were framed movie posters hung around each room. There was also a lot of sports memorabilia.

  “Seahawks, eh?” I teased.

  “Yep, gotta root for the home team.”

  “I suppose. I’m a Jets fan.”

  Nick laughed at me, “I’m so sorry.”

  We were in the living room so I picked up a pillow off the couch and threw it at him.

  “Come on, let’s watch a movie,” he said. “I’ll order pay-per-view.”

  We sat on opposite ends of the couch and Nick managed to find a movie that we could agree on. There was some tension in the room as we watched the movie. After the movie, Nick put on some mindless tv show and we talked for hours. When we were both started getting tired, he picked out another movie and went into another room to get a blanket for us to share.

  “Slide over here and we’ll cover up and watch this together,” he said, patting the seat beside him.

  I slid down the couch and snuggled up next to him. With the way I was sitting, it was necessary for him to put his arm around me in order for us both to be comfortable. The movie was long and I fell asleep. I woke up and I was in Nick’s bed and he was lying beside me. I wasn’t sure if he was sleeping or not, or what time it was. I moved a bit and slid out of bed, looking for the bathroom.

  “Abby, what’s wrong?” Nick’s voice was full of sleep.

  “I just need to use the bathroom.”

  “Oh, okay.”

  I slipped out and back into bed quickly. When I finally got settled, I saw Nick was facing me.

  “Hey,” I whispered.


  “Did you carry me in here?”

  “Yeah, you fell asleep and I thought you’d be more comfortable in the bed. Is that okay?”

  “Of course, thank you.”

  He reached out and touched my face. “Can I hold you while we sleep?”

  I had slept so well that night before when we slept together and he had held me. “Yes.”

  He pulled me close and I could smell his soap, it smelled clean and manly. I fell asleep with my head tucked against his chest and didn’t wake until the next morning. I looked up into Nick’s sleeping face and I couldn’t help myself from sighing.

  My sigh woke Nick up, “Hello again,” he said.

  “Did I wake you?”

  “No, well, if you did, I don’t mind.”

  We pulled away from each other and stretched.

  “I have an early meeting with Paul, so we have to get going.”

  Chapter 6

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