22. the bed incident.

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"Hey, goldilocks

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"Hey, goldilocks. What are you doing sleeping in my bed?" I heard Ethan ask me teasingly.

I wasn't sure what was going on, but I assumed this was yet another dream involving Ethan and a bed. They'd become a common occurrence for me lately and most of the time, they weren't exactly rated PG.

Groggily, I rolled over to find him laying beside me on the bed (his bed), amusement playing across his full lips. The clock on his nightstand read 8:33am.

This was not a dream, but I started to wish it was. Why was I in his bed again? I felt like a total idiot. Or worse, a crazy stalker. A crazy stalker roommate.

"You didn't come home last night. I was lonely," I offered, lamely. It was true. He'd never gone MIA like that before; it had bothered me. Unless he was at a tournament out of town, he always came home.

Around 4am, I'd woken up after a bad dream and had gone to double-check whether he was back. I had been expecting to find him asleep in his bed, but the condo, and his room, had been totally dark and empty. Deserted.

At the time, laying down in his bed had seemed comforting. In the light of day, it was downright embarrassing. It occurred to me, too late, that I should have blamed it on sleepwalking.

He smirked. "Lonely, eh? What about Hunter? After all, you were out with him last night."

His tone was almost accusatory, and it was not a way I was accustomed to hearing him speak to me. I could smell alcohol on his breath underneath the scent of his toothpaste. I wondered where he stayed last night. He looked rough— definitely hungover, but somehow the light five o'clock shadow he was sporting suited him. Of course.

I shrugged and avoided eye contact by closely examining the seam of his dark grey pillowcase.

"I don't know. It was fine. Is that why you didn't come home last night? Because I was on a date?"

"What if it was?"

My knees turned to jello and I wasn't even standing up. "What do you mean?"

He propped himself up on his elbow and looked in at me intensely, examining me; his eyes were the kind of deep blue that you could get lost in.

I was suddenly all too aware that we were laying on a bed together, only inches apart. His bed was a king and he was far closer to me than he needed to be, given the room to spare. The proximity was making me light in the head.

"What if I said... I didn't like you dating him?" He asked, his voice gravelly and brimming with suggestion.

All at once, I felt naked even fully clothed. I flushed, squirming under his probing gaze. "I guess it would depend why."

He opened his mouth to say something and then stopped himself. Rolling onto his back, he exhaled loudly.

"Shit. I'm sorry, Ryan. We can't do this," he said, staring at the roof for a moment. He stood up, refusing to meet my eyes, and said, "I'm going to take a shower."

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