Just What I Needed (2)

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“Are you up?”

“No,” Keely moaned, burying her head deeper into the pillow. Her mind was still settled deeply into the comfortable obliviousness which was sleep and she wasn’t going to give that up willingly.

There was a beat of silence that filled the room, and for one hopeful moment, she believed herself to be alone.

Then, “Oh, well, I’m going to take all the albums you love and throw them outside.”

“As long as you leave my Rubber Soul and Led Zeppelin || vinyls,” she threw back. But all the same she gave a contented stretch before rolling over, rubbing her eyes wearily while she kept the other arm wrapped securely about the pillow. “Didn’t your mother teach you it’s rude to break into other people houses, Joseph? Especially in the morning?”

“You’d have preferred I came at night?” he countered without a qualm, dropping himself carelessly onto the edge of her bed. And Keely couldn’t help but notice that he was munching quite happily on a muffin she was sure he’d nicked from her kitchen.

With a chuckle, she shook her head before bracing her palms against the sheets that had almost been torn off the mattress as she pushed herself into an admittedly more uncomfortable position leaning back against the headboard. She only put herself through that because she knew if she continued lying down, she’d be asleep within moments. Then Joe would find no issue with dumping a cup of ice water on her head, he’d done it before.

Letting loose a yawn, Keely ran her hands wearily over her face, peering at her best friend who had a spark of amusement behind those summery blue eyes of his. “How are you this cheery in the morning?” she grumbled.

“We’re farm people, Keel,” Joe replied breezily as he finished the crumbs of his muffin before lounging out against her bed. “We’re supposed to be up at the crack of dawn.”

Instead of answering that absurd statement, she pulled a face.

Studiously he ignored less than enthused expression as his darkly tanned hands knotted behind his head comfortably. It didn’t take long for him to make himself at home in her bed, did it? “Why didn’t you get home until four?”

The question had Keely blinking in surprise before her eyes narrowed on him suspiciously, but another – more plausible – option occurred to her only seconds after all the others stretched through her mind. “Did you meet my dad as you came in?”

Without a hesitation, Joe confirmed, “He caught me just in time to load the air compressor into the truck.”

That would have been quite the normal answer, and Keely accepted it instantly as she attempted to run her fingers through her severely knotted hair. Yet moments later the entire truth sank in, and that casual air in the bedroom shifted as she looked down at Joseph, his hair so shortly cut that it created an almost halo around his head against the sun that was pouring through the window.

“Why was he packing up the truck?” she inquired apprehensively, her eyes narrowing down on him. It was a fair question; she’d helped him pack it up just a day ago. “It’s Sunday, this is his day off.”

Giving a shrug, Joe offhandedly responded, “He said there was something important he had to do before the crew got there tomorrow.”

With that information all urge to lie back down and catch up on that much needed sleep was disintegrated. Keely was very much awake now. She no longer had any eyes for her best friend who was lying on the edge of her bed, but instead stared at her shelves of records with a frown deepening the shadows that played across her face, twisting her fingers together.

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