Chapter 15

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A clear mental image of Scott and the acute awareness that I was naked greeted me when I opened my eyes. Light had yet to filter into the room, so I knew it was early - probably about 6ish. There was no way I was getting back to sleep now.

In fact, it was a small miracle that I'd fallen asleep in the first place. I again thanked the mai tai gods. Usually, when I shared a bed with a man for the first time, especially when it wasn't my own bed, I spent those hours of nothingness between 3am and 6am staring at the ceiling, listening to the rhythms of his breathing and trying to shut my mind off.

Now, as I lay there, I wondered what would happen when Leon would grunt himself awake and open his eyes to see me. Would he roll over and fall back to sleep? Would he pull me towards him? Would he sit up and start hinting at showers and a busy day ahead?

I decided that I didn't want to waste another hour or so waiting for him to stir and finally shift the still, uncertain energy in the room. Besides, I now had Scott to worry about. I had only known Scott post-high school for the past month or so and I couldn't predict how he would react to the news that I'd hooked up with Leon. Would he be hurt? Would he get angry? Would he even care? And what had I even jeopardised my new found friendship with my high school boyfriend for anyway? It was for a man who was now softly snoring next to me and may or may not be interested - in order of likeliness - in a). morning sex; b). a coffee; c). an office fling that lasted a couple of weeks; d). a date or e). a relationship.

One thing I knew for sure was that the boy was definitely not gay. At the very least, he was bi, because not once did I doubt that he was attracted to me as he stroked, grasped and, at one point, slapped. I remembered gasping at the rush of excitement I'd felt when he'd gently hit my bottom. My body felt gloriously achy, yet relaxed, even though my mind was whirring.

A voice inside me told me to live in the moment - to stretch out then curl up in Leon's arms, to concentrate on his breath against the back of my neck, to spend the next hour stroking his fingers and studying the contours of his hands, to kiss him. 

However, I was seeing Scott later today and I knew I wouldn't be able to relax until I'd cleared my conscience. This wasn't a love triangle I'd gotten myself into - it was a love bi-angle. If Leon wanted to go round two, he would just have to wait, right? And even if he wasn't interested in round two and our relationship descended into hi's mumbled at the carpet as we passed each other in the office, then so be it. It's not like I hadn't gone without sex for most of my adult life.

I slowly sat up, my nipples turning hard as the blanket slipped and the cold morning hit me. Through the darkness, I could make out something on the floor near the bed that looked like a bra. I swung my legs out of bed and stood up. Under my feet were my knickers, the last item of clothing he'd peeled off me, if I remembered the sequence of events correctly. They were first back on as I gathered up the remainder of my outfit.

I was grateful that London had a tube stop or station within walking distance of almost everywhere in zones 1 and 2 because the walk of shame I was in for was a doozy. I had chosen to wear a metallic and sequin camisole under my sumptuous velvet coat. If only I'd listened to Scott about dressing down. There was no way people wouldn't know I was still wearing last night's clothes unless they thought I was a very eccentric billionaire on her way to 'do coffee.' What suburb was this? I hoped it wasn't a healthy one, where early morning joggers outnumbered the trashbags staggering back to their homes like zombies.

I wiggled back into my black skinny jeans and cami, and ever so slowly opened Leon's bedroom door in search of a bathroom. Thankfully, the door opposite was ajar and I spied small blue tiles on the floor. A bathroom. Perfect.

My lips looked redder than usual and my cheeks more pink because they had spent several recent hours rubbing against stubble. My hair was bouffant and stuck out everywhere. I looked like a beauty queen from the '60s after a catfight with another contestant. I splashed my face with water and snuck a smidgeon of toothpaste onto my fingertip from the tube resting on the sink. I popped the toothpaste into my mouth with my finger and swished it around with water from the tap. I ran my fingers through my hair and sighed. Good enough.

Leon's eyes were still closed when I padded back into his room. I wanted him to acknowledge me before I left, since this could be the last time we were this intimate. I pressed my lips against his and held them there. I heard the faint sound of the flat next door switching their radio on as they rattled around the kitchen. I could just make out The Cranberries' 'Linger' and I thought about how appropriate the song was for right then and there. I felt pressure back on my lips and a sharp intake of breath as Leon woke up.

'Where do you think you're going?' he murmured with a yawn.

'I've got a thing to go to at Scott's friend's place today,' I whispered, unsure if he had flatmates sleeping nearby.

'Oh, well that's disappointing,' he said with a smile.

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